Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art"

See other formats

* ^rnvk^aa^ t Tisuuai. 

-*i .—  Ai> 


- ■»-^'«»^ ' «•» 






















X 'v 

>• V 




1 ' 





f f f 


■^^ry/y/6 r^ycfJUUJi 













I-'rom an Engraving by Bnrg^mair {\%th cent.) 




|ii fiteriiture ;uiJr %xt 




ILontJon : 





'^'j 17. S 



T HAVE felt fome difficulty in felecfling a title for 
-*- the contents of the following pages, in which it 
was, in fad:, my defign to give, as far as may be done 
within luch moderate limits, and in as popular a manner 
as fuch information can eafily be imparted, a general 
view of the Hiftory of Comic Literature and Art. Yet 
the word comic feems to me hardly to exprefs all the 
parts of the fubjed: which I have fought to bring 
together in my book. Moreover, the field of this 
hillory is very large, and, though I have only taken as 
my theme one part of it, it was neceffary to circum- 
fcribe even that, in fome degree ; and my plan, there- 
fore, is to follow it chiefly through thofe branches 
which have contributed moil towards the formation 
of modern comic and fatiric literature and art in our 
own ifland. 

vi Prefc 


Thus, as the comic literature of the middle ages to 
a very great extent, and comic art in a coniiderable 
degree alfo, were founded upon, or rather arofe out of, 
thofe of the Romans which had preceded them, it 
feemed defirable to give a comprehenfive hiftory of 
this branch of literature and art as it was cultivated 
among the peoples of antiquity. Literature and art in 
the middle ages prefented a certain unity of general 
character, ariling, probably, from the uniformity of the 
influence of the Roman element of fociety, modified 
only by its lower degree of intenlity at a greater diftance 
from the centre, and by fecondary caufes attendant upon 
it. To underftand the literature of any one country 
in Weftern Europe, efpecially during what we may 
term the feudal period — and the remark applies to art 
equally — it is necelTary to make ourfelves acquainted 
with the whole hiftory of literature in Weftern 
Europe during that time. The peculiarities in dif- 
ferent countries naturally became more marked in the 
progrefs of fociety, and more ftrongly individualifed ; 
but it was not till towards the clofe of the feudal period 
that the literature of each of thefe different countries 
was becoming more entirely its own. At that period 
the plan I have formed reflrid:s itfelf, according to the 

Preface. vii 

view ftated above. Thus, the llitlrical hterature of the 
Reformation and pidtorial caricature had their cradle 
in Germany, and, in the earher half of the fixteenth 
century, carried their influence largely into France and 
EnMand: but from that time any influence of German 
literature on thefe two countries ceafes. Modern 
fatirical literature has its models in France during 
the fixteenth century, and the dired: influence of this 
literature in France upon Englifli literature continued 
during that and the fucceeding century, but no further. 
Political caricature rofe to importance in France in the 
fixteenth century, and was tranfplanted to Holland in 
the feventeenth century, and until the beginning ot 
the eighteenth century England owed its caricature, 
indire(flly or dire(flly, to the French and the Dutch ; 
but after that time a purely Englifli fchool of cari- 
cature was formed, which was entirely independent of 
Continental caricatu rifts. 

There are two fenfes in which the "word hiftory 
may be taken in regard to literature and art. It has 
been ufually employed to fignify a chronological account 
of authors or artifts and their works, though this comes 
more properly under the title of biography and biblio- 
graphy. But there is another and a very diflerciit 

viii Preface, 

application of the word, and this is the meaning which 
I attach to it in the prefent volume. During the middle 
ages, and for fome period after (in fpecial branches), 
literature — I mean poetry, fatire, and popular literature 
of all kinds — belonged to fociety, and not to the 
individual authors, who were but workmen who gained 
a living by fatisfying fociety's wants ; and its changes 
in form or character depended all upon the varying 
progrefs, and therefore changing neceffities, of fociety 
itfelf. This is the reafon why, efpecially in the earlier 
periods, nearly the whole mafs of the popular — I may, 
perhaps, be allowed to call it the focial literature of the 
middle ages, is anonymous ; and it was only at rare 
intervals that fome individual rofe and made himfelf a 
great name by the fuperiority of his talents. A certain 
number of writers of fabliaux put their names to their 
compofitions, probably becaufe they were names of 
writers who had gained the reputation of telling better 
or racier jftories than many of their fellows. In fome 
branches of literature — as in the fatirical literature of the 
lixteenth century — fociety ftill exercifed this kind of 
influence over it; and although its great monuments 
owe everything to the peculiar genius of their authors, 
they were produced under the prelTure of focial cir- 

Preface. ix 

CLimftances. To trace all thefe variations in literature 
connected with Ibciety, to defcribc the influences of 
Ibciety upon literature and of literature upon fociety, 
during the progrefs of the latter, appears to me to be 
the true meaning of the word hiftory, and it is in this 
fenfe that I take it. 

This will explain why my hiftory of the different 
branches of popular literature and art ends at very 
different periods. The grotefque and fatirical fculpture, 
which adorned the ecclefiaftical buildings, ceafed with 
the middle ages. The ftory-books, as a part of this 
focial literature, came down to the fixteenth century, 
and the hiftory of the jeft-books which arofe out of 
them cannot be conlidered to extend further than the 
beginning of the feventeenth ; for, to give a lift of jeft- 
books fmce that time would be to compile a catalogue 
of books made by bookfellers for fale, copied from 
one another, and, till recently, each more contemptible 
than its prcdeccffor. The fchool of fatirical literature 
in France, at all events as far as it had any influence in 
England, Lifted no longer than the earlier part of the 
feventeenth century. England can hardly be faid to 
have had a fchool of fitirical literature, with the ex- 
ception of its comedy, which belongs properly to the 

X Preface. 

feventeenth century; and its caricature belongs efpecially 
to the laft century and to the earUer part of the prefent, 
beyond which it is not a part of my plan to carry it. 

Thefe few remarks will perhaps ferve to explain 
what fome may confider to be defeats in my book ; 
and with them I venture to truft it to the indulgence 
of its readers. It is a fubjed: which will have fome 
novelty for the Englifh reader, for I am not aware that 
we have any previous book devoted to it. At all 
events, it is not a mere com.pilation from other people's 

Thomas Wright. 












CHAPTER ni. ' 


xii Contents. 













Contents. xiii 





OR^^VME^'Ts of the borders of books — itntxtentionae cari- 
cattire; the mote ajjo) the beam 144 


satirical LITEEATURE in the middle ages — JOHN DE hauteville 







xiv Contejits. 













RARY circle; bona venture DES PEEIERS — HENRI ETIENNE — 

Cofjtents. XV 










xvi Contents. 










FACE 450 




GILLRAY'S caricatures on social life — THOMAS EOWLANDSON — HIS 











IT is not my intention in the following pages to difcufs the quellion 
what conftitutes the comic or the laughable, or, in other words, to 
enter into the philolbphy of the fubjeftj I delign only to trace the hillory 
of its outward development, the various forms it has alVumed, and its 
focial influence. Laughter appears to be almoft a neceliity of human 
nature, in all conditions of man's exiflence, however rude or however cul- 
tivated ; and fome of the greateft men of all ages, men of the moft refined 
intelle6ts, fuch as Cicero in the ages of antiquity, and Erafmus among 
the modems, have been celebrated for their indulgence in it. The former 
was fometimes called by his opponents /curra confuluris, the "confular 
jfftcr j" and the latter, who has been fpoken of as the "mocking-bird," is 
laid to have laughed fo immoderately over the well-known " Epiltolae 
Obfcurorum Virorum," that he brought upon himfelf a fcrious fit of 
illncfs. The greateft of comic writers, Ariftophanes, has always been looked 
upon as a model of literary perfc6lion. An ejjigraiu in the Greek Antlio- 

Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

logy, written by the divine Plato, tells us how, when the Graces fought 
a temple which would not fall, they found the foul of Ariftophanes : — 

Ai xapiTiQ rifitvoQ ti \af3iiv OTnp ovxt TrtfftZrai 
Zt]rovaai, 'il^vxt'jv tvpov ' Apiaro(pavovi;. 

On the other hand, the men who never laughed, ihedyiXaaroL, were 
looked upon as the leaft refpeftable of mortals. 

A tendency to burlefque and caricature appears, indeed, to be a feeling 
deeply implanted in human nature, and it is one of the earliefl: talents 
difplayed by people in a rude ftate of fociety. An appreciation of, and 
fenfitivenefs to, ridicule, and a love of that which is humorous, are found 
even among favages, and enter largely into their relations with their 
fellow men. When, before people cultivated either literature or art, 
the chieftain fat in his rude hall furrounded by his warriors, they amufed 
themfelves by turning their enemies and opponents into mockery, by 
laughing at their weakneffes, joking on their defe£ts, whether phyfical or 
mental, and giving them nicknames in accordance therewith, — in fa6t, 
caricaturing them in words, or by telling ftcries which were calculated to 
excite laughter. When the agricultural flaves (for the tillers of the land 
were then flaves) were indulged with a day of relief from their labours, 
they fpent it in unreftrained mirth. And when thefe fame people began 
to ereft permanent buildings, and to ornament them, the favourite fub- 
je6ts of their ornamentation were fuch as prefented ludicrous ideas. The 
warrior, too, who caricatured his enemy in his fpeeches over the feftive 
board, foon fought to give a more permanent form to his ridicule, which 
he endeavoured to do by rude delineations on the bare rock, or on any 
other convenient flirface which prefented itfelf to his hand. Thus 
originated caricature and the grotefque in art. In fa6t, art itfelf, in its 
earliefl forms, is caricature 5 for it is only by that exaggeration of features 
which belongs to caricature, that untkilful draughtfmen could make 
themfelves underftood. 

Although we might, perhaps, find in different countries examples of 
thefe principles in different flates of development, we cannot in any one 
country trace the entire courfe of the development itfelf: for in all the highly 

in Literature and Art, 

civil;fed races c\ mankind, we firft become acquainted with their hillory 
when they had already reached a confiderable degree of refinement ; and 
even at that period of their progrefs, our knowledge is almoft confined to 
their religious, and to their more feverely hiltorical, monuments. Such 
is efpecially the cafe with Egypt, the hiltory of which country, as repre- 
fented by its monuments of art, carries us back to the remoteft ages of 
antiquity. Egyptian art generally prefents itfelf in a fombre and maflivc 
character, with little of gaiety or joviality in its defigns or forms. Yet, as 
Sir Gardner Wilkinfon has remarked in his valuable work on the 
"Manners and Cufloms of the Ancient Egyptians," the early Egyptian 
artifls cannot always conceal their natural tendency to the humorous, 
which creeps out in a variety of little incidents. Thus, in a ieries of 
grave hiftorical pidlures on one of the great monuments at Thebes, we 
find a reprefentation of a wine party, where the company confifls of both 
fexes, and which evidently fhows that the ladies were not reftrifted in the 

No. I . An Egyptian Lady at a Feaji, 

\x{g of the juice of the grape in their entertainments; and, as he adds, "the 
painters, in illuflrating this faft, have fometimes facrificed their gallantry 
to a love of caricature." Among the females, evidently of rank, repre- 
fented in this fcene, " fome call the fervants to fupport them as they (it, 
©there with difficulty prevent themfclvcs from falling on thofe behind 

Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

them, and the faded flower, which is ready to drop from tlieir heated 
hands, is intended to be charafteriftic of their own fenfations." One 
group, a lady whofe excefs has been carried too far, and her fervant who 
comes to her afliftance, is reprefented in our cut No. i. Sir Gardner 
obferves that " many limilar inftances of a talent for caricature are 
obfervable in the compofitions of the Egyptian artiils, who executed the 
paintings of the tombs " at Thebes, which belong to a very early period 
of the Egyptian annals. Nor is the application of this talent rellrided 
always to fecular fubjefts, but we fee it at times intruding into the moft 
facred myfteries of their rehgion. I give as a curious example, taken from 
one of Sir Gardner Wilkinfon's engravings, a fcene in the reprefentation 
of a funeral proceflion crofRng the Lake of the Dead (No. 2), that 

No. 2. Catajirophe in a Funeral Procejfion. 

appears in one of thefe early paintings at Thebes, in which "the love of 
caricature common to the Egyptians is fhown to have been indulged 
even in this ferious fubjeft ; and the retrograde movement of the large 
boat, which has grounded and is puftied off the bank, flriking the fmaller 
one with its rudder, has overturned a large table loaded with cakes and 
other things, upon the rowers feated below, in fpite of all the efforts of 
the prowman, and the earneft vociferations of the alarmed fteerfman." 
The accident which thus overthrows and fcatters the provifions intended 
for the funeral feaft, and the confufion attendant upon it, form a ludicrous 

/;/ Literature and Art. 

fcene in the midll of a Iblemn pi6ture, that would be worthy of the 
imagination of a Rowlandfon. 

Another cut (No. 3), taken from one of the fame feries of paintings, 
belongs to a clafs of caricatures which dates from a very remote period. 
One of the mort natural ideas among all people would be to compare 
men with the animals whofe yjirticular qualities they pofTeffed. Thus, 
one might be as bold as a lior, another r^ faithful as a dog, or as cunning 
as a fox, or as fwiniih as a hog. The iiame of the animal would thus 
often be given as a nickname to the r.jan, and in the fequel he would be 
reprefented pi6torially under the form of the animal. It was partly out 
of this kind of caricature, no doubt, that the lingular clnfs of apologues 
which have been fince diftinguifhed by the name of fables arofe. 
Connefted with it was the belief in the metempfychofis, or tranfmiilion 
of the foul into the bodies of animals after death, which formed a part of 
feveral of the primitive religions. The eariieft examples of this clafs 

No. 3. An Unfortunate Soul. 

oi caricature of mankind are found on the Egyptian monuments, as 
in the inftance juft referred to, which reprefents " a foul condemned to 
return to earth under the form of a pig, having been weighed in the 
fcales before Ofiris and been found wanting. Being placed in a boat, 
and accompanied by two monkeys, it is difmifled the facred precind." 
The latter animals, it may be remarked, as they are here reprefented, are 
the cynocephali, or dog-headed monkeys (the ^mia inuus), which were 
facred animals among the Egyptians, and the peculiar chara6terirtic of ^ 
which — the dog-lhaped head — is, as ufual, exaggerated by the artilh 
. The rcprefentation of this return of a condemned foul under the 

Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

repulfive form of a pig, is painted on the left fide wall of the long 
entrance-gallery to the tomb of King Ramefes V,, in the valley of royal 
catacombs known as the Biban-el-Molook, at Thebes. Wilkinfon gives 
the date of the acceffion of this monarch to the throne as 1185, b.c. 
In the original pifture, Ofiris is feated on his throne at fome diftance from 
the Itern of the boat, and is difmiffing it from his prefence by a wave 
of the hand. This tomb was open in the time of the Romans, and 
termed by them the " Tomb of Momnon 3" it was greatly admired, and 
is covered with laudatory infcriptions by Greek and Roman vifitoi-s. One 
of the moft interefling is placed beneath this pi6ture, recording the name 
of a daduchus, or torch-bearer in the Eleuiinian myfteries, who vifited this 
tomb in the reign of Conflantine. 

The pra6tice having been once introduced of reprefenting men under 
the chara6ter of animals, was foon developed into other applications 

Nc. 4. The Cat and the Geefe. 

of the fame Idea — ^fuch as that of figuring animals employed in the 
various occupations of mankind, and that of revcrfing the pofition of man 
and the inferior animals, and reprefenting the latter as treating their 

in Literature and Art. 7 

human tyrant in the lame manner as they are ufually treated by him. 
The latter idea became a very favourite one at a later period, but the 
other is met with not unfrequently among the works of art which have 
been faved from the wrecks of antiquity. Among the treafures of the 
Britilh Mufeum, there is a long Egyptian pidure on papyrus, originally 
forming a roll, confuting of reprefentations of this defcriplion, from which 
I give three curious examples. The firft (fee cut No. 4) reprefents a cat 
in charge of a drove of geefe. It will be obferved that the cat holds in 
her hand the fame fort of rod, with a hook at the end, with which the 

No. 5. The Fox turned Piper. 

monkeys are furnilhcd in the preceding pidure. The fecond (No. 5) 
reprefents a fox carrying a baiket by means of a pole fapported on his 
Ihoulder (a method of carrying burthens frequently reprefented on the 
monuments of ancient art), and playing on the well-known double flute, 
or pipe. The fox foon became a favourite perfonage in this clals of 
caricatures, and we know what a prominent part he afterwards played in 
mediaeval fatire. Perhaps, however, the moft popular of all animals in 
this cla6 of drolleries was the monkey, which appears natural enough 


Hijiory cf Caricature and Grotefque 

when we conlider its Angular aptitude to mimic the adtions of man. 
The ancient naturahlls tell us fome curious, though not very credible, 
ftories of the manner in which this charafteriftic of the monkey tribes was 
taken advantage of to entrap them, and PHny (Hift. JSiai... lib. viii. c. 80' 
quotes an older writer, who aflerted that they had even been taught 
to play at draughts. Our third fubjeft from the Egyptian papyrus of the 
Britifh Mufeum (No. 6) reprefents a fcene in which the game of draughts 
—or, more properly fpeaking, the game which the Romans called the 

No. 6. The Lion and the Unicorn. 

Indus latrunculorum, and which is believed to have refembled our draughts 
• — is played by two animals well known to modem heraldry, the lion and 
the unicorn. The lion has evidently gained the viftory, and is fingering 
the moneyj and his bold air of fwaggering fuperiority, as well as the look 
of furprife and difappointment of his vanquilhed opponent, are by no 
means ill pi6tured. This feries of caricatures, though Egyptian, belongs 
to the Roman period. 

Tlie monftrous is clofely allied to the grotefque, and both come withiu 
the province of caricature, when we take this term in its wideft fenfe. 

in Literature and Art. 

The Greeks, efpecially, were partial to reprefentations of monrters, and 
monftrous forms are continually met with among their ornaments and works 
of art. The type of the Egyptian monfter is reprefented in the accompany- 
ing cut (Xo. 7), taken from the work of Sir Gardner Wilkinfon before 
quoted, and is faid to be the figure of the god Typhon. It occurs frequently 
on Egyptian monuments, with fome variation in its forms, but alwavs 

No. 7. Typhon. 

charaftcrifcd by the broad, coarfe, and frightful face, and by the large 
tongue lolling out. It is interefting to us, becaufe it is the apparent 
origin of a long ferics of faces, or m.alk.s, of this form and chara6tcr, wliich 
are continually recurring in the grotefque ornamentation, not only of tiie 
Greeks and Romans, but of the middle ages. It appears to have been 
fomctimes given by the Romans to the reprefentations of people whom 
ihey hated or defpifed ; and Pliny, in a curious paflhge of his " Natural 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

History,"* informs us that at one time, among the pictures exhibited in 
the Forum at Rome, there was one in which a Gaul was reprefented, 
" thrufting out his tongue in a very unbecoming manner." The Egyptian 
Typhous had their exa6t reprefentations in ancient Greece in a figure of 
frequent occurrence, to which antiquaries have, 1 know not why, given 
the name of Gorgon. The example in our cut No. 8, is a figure in terra- 
cotta, now in the colledion of the Royal Mufeum at BerHn.t 

No. 8. GoTgim. 

In Greece, however, the fpirit of caricature and burlelque repre- 
fentation had affumed a more regular form than in other countries, for it 
was inherent in the fpirit of Grecian fociety. Among the population oi 
Greece, the worship of Dionyfus, or Bacchus, had taken deep root from 

* Plin. Hist. Nat., lib. xxxv. c. 8. 

f Panofka Terracotten des Museums Berlin, pi. Ixi. p. 154. 

in Literature and Art. 1 1 

a very early period — earlier than we can trace back — and it formed the 
nucleus of the popular religion and fuperftitions, the cradle of poetry and 
the drama. The moll popular celebrations of the people of Greece, were 
the Dionynac fellivals, and the phallic rites and procellions which accom- 
panied them, in which the chief a6tors alfumed the difguife of fatyrs and 
fawns, covering themfelves with goat-lkins, and disfiguring their faces by 
rubbing them over with the lees of wine. Thus, in the guife of noify 
bacchanals, they difplayed an unreflrained licentioufnefs of gefture and 
language, uttering indecent jelts and abufiv'e fpeeches, in which they 
fparcd nobody. This portion of the ceremony was the efpecial attribute 
of a part of the performers, who accompanied the proceflion in waggons, 
and aded fomething like dramatic performances, in which they uttered au 
abundance of loofe extempore fatire on thofe who palTed or who accom 
panied the proceflion, a little in the ftyle of the modern carnivals. It be 
came thus the occafion for an unreflrained publication of coarfe pafquinades. 
In the time of Pififtratus, thefe performances are afllimed to have been 
reduced to a little more order by an individual named Thefpis, who is 
laid to have invented malks as a better difguife than dirty faces, and is 
looked upon as the father of the Grecian drama. There can be no 
doubt, indeed, that the drama arofe out of thefe popular ceremonies, and 
it long bore the unmiftakable marks of its origin. Even the name of 
tragedy has nothing tragic in its derivation, for it is formed from the 
Greek word tragos (rpayoc), a goat, in the Ikins of which animal the 
fatyrs clothed themfelves, and hence the name was given alfo to thofe who 
l)crfonated the fatyrs in the proceflions. A tragodus {rpayi^loQ) was the 
linger, whofe words accompanied the movements of a chorus of fatyrs, 
and the term tragodia was applied to his performance. In the fame 
manner, a comodus ((cw^wccc) was one who accompanied fimilarly, wiih 
chants of an abuflve or fatirical charatler, a cumus (KiZiuog), or band ot 
revellers, in the more riotous and licentious portion of the perlormances 
in the Bacchic feflivals. The Greek drama always betrayed its origin by 
the circumftance that the performances took place annually, t)nly at the 
yearly fcilivals in honour of Bacchus, of which in i\\€t they confliluted 
a part. Moreover, as the Greek drama became perfetlcd, it Hill rttniru-C 

1 2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

from its origin a triple divifion, into tragedy, comedy, and the fatiric 
drama ; and, being ftill performed at the Dionyfiac fellival in Athens, 
each dramatic author was expefted to produce what was called a trilogy, 
that is, a tragedy, a fatirical play, and a comedy. So completely was all 
this identified in the popular mind with the worlhip of Bacchus, that, 
long afterwards, when even a tragedy did not pleafe the audience 
by its fubjeft, the common form of difapproval was, t'i tuvtu irpos rbv 
Aiovvaov — "What has this to do with Bacchus?" and, ov^ey Trpog tov 
AiovvfTov — " This has nothing to do with Bacchus." 

We have no perfect remains of the Greek fatiric drama, which was, 
perhaps, of a temporary chara6ter, and lefs frequently prefervedj but the 
early Greek comedy is preferved in a certain number of the plays of 
Ariftophanes, in which we can contemplate it in all its freedom of 
character. It reprefented the waggon-jefting, of the age of Thefpis, 
in its full development. In its form it was burlefque to a wanton degree 
of extravagance, and its effence was perfonal vilification, as well as general 
fatire. Individuals were not onjy attacked by the application to them of 
abufive epithets, but they were reprefented perfonally on the ilage as 
performing every kind of contemptible a6tion, and as fuffering all ibrts of 
ludicrous and difgraceful treatment. The drama thus bore marks of 
its origin in its extraordinary licentioufnefs of language and coftume, and 
in the conilant ufe of the malk. One of its moil favourite inftruments 
of fatire was parody, which was employed unfparingly on everything 
which fociety in its folemu moments refpeded — againft everything that 
the fatirift confidered worthy of being held up to public derifion or fcorn. 
Religion itfelf, philofophy, focial manners and inflitutions — even poetry — 
were all parodied in their turn. The comedies of Ariftophanes are full 
of parodies on the poetry of the tragic and other writers of his age. He 
is efpecially happy in parodying the poetry of the tragic dramatift 
Euripides. The old comedy of Greece has thus been corredly defcribed 
as the comedy of caricature ; and the fpirit, and even the fcenes, of this 
comedy, being transferred to piftorial reprefentations, became entirely 
identical with that branch of art to which we give the name of caricature 
in modern times. Under the cover of bacchanalian buffoonerv", a ferious 

/;; Literature and ylrt. ^ 3 

purpole, it is true, was aimed at j but the general latire was chiefly 
implied in the violent perfonal attacks on individuals, and lliii became lb 
oftenlive that when llich perfons obtained greater power in Athens than 
the populace the old comedy was abolillied. 

Arillophanes was the greateft and mod perfeft poet of the Old 
Comedy, and his remaining comedies are as ftrongly marked reprelenta- 
tions of the hoftility of political and focial parties in his time, as the 
caricatures of Gillray are of party in the reign of our George III., and, we 
may add, even more minute. They range through the memorable period 
ot the Peloponnefian war, and the earlier ones give us the regular annual 
feries of thefe performances, as far as Arillophanes contributed them, during 
feveral years. The firft of them, " The Acharnians," was performed at the 
Lenaean feall of Bacchus in the fixth year of the Peloponnefian war, the 
year 425 b.c, when it gained the firll prize. It is a bold attack on 
the faftious prolongation of the war through the influence of the Athenian 
demagogues. The next, "The Knights," brought out in b.c. 424, is a 
dire6t attack upon Cleon, the chief of thefe demagogues, although he is 
not mentioned by name 3 and it is recorded that, finding nobody who had 
courage enough to make a malk reprefenting Cleon, or to play the cha- 
ra6ter, Ariflophanes was obliged to perform it himfelf, and that he fmeared 
his face with lees of wine, in order to reprefent the fluflied and bloated 
countenance of the great demagogue, thus returning to the original mode 
of a6ting of the predeceflors of Thefpis. This, too, was the firft of the 
comedies of Ariflophanes which he publiflied in his own name. "The 
Clouds," publiflied in 423, is aimed at Socrates and the philofophers. 
The fourth, " The Wafps," publiflied in B.C. 422, prefents a fatire on the 
litigious fpirit of tne Athenians. The fifth, entitled "Peace " ("Etoijj'j)), 
appeared in the year following, at the time of the peace of Nicias, and is 
another fatire on the bellicofe fpirit of the Athenian democracy. The 
next in the lift of extant plays comes after an interval of leveral years, 
having been publiflied in u.c. 414, the firft year of the Sicilian war, a."id 
relates to an irreligious movement in Athens, which had caufcd a great 
fenHition. Two Athenians arc reprefented as leaving Athens, in difgull 
at iht: vices and follies of their fellow citi/ens, and feek:r.<j tiie kingdom 

14 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

of the birds, where they form a new ftate, by which the communication 
between the mortals and the immortals is cut off, and is only opened 
again by an arrangement between all the parties. In the " Lyfiftrata.'' 
believed to have been brought out in 411, when the war was ftill at its 
height, the women of Athens are reprefented as engaging in a cunning 
and fuccefsful plot, by which they gain polTeflion of the government of the 
flate, and compel their hulbands to make peace. "The Thefmo- 
phoriazufae," appears to have been publilhed in B.C. 410 ; it is a fatire 
upon Euripides, whofe writings were remarkable for their bitter attacks 
on the charadter of tlie female fex, who, in this comedy, confpire againft 
him to fecure his punifhment. The comedy of "The Frogs " was brought 
out in the year 405 e.g., and is a fatire on the literature of the day; it is 
aimed efpecially at Euripides, and was perhaps written foon after his death, 
its real fubje£t being the decline of the tragic drama, which Euripides 
was accufed of having promoted. It is perhaps the moil witty of the 
plays of Ariflophanes which have been preferved. "The Eccleliazufae," 
publithed in 392, is a burlefque upon the theories of republican govern- 
ment, which were then ftarted among the philofophers, fome of which 
differed little from our modern communifm. The ladies again, by a clever 
confpiracy, gain the maflery in the eftate, and they decree a community 
of goods and women, with fome laws very peculiar to that ftate of things. 
The humour of the piece, which is extremely broad, turns upon the 
difputes and embarraffments refulting from this ftate of things. The 
laft of his comedies extant, " Plutus," appears to be a work of the 
concluding years of the aftive life of Ariflophanes 3 it is the leaft ftriking 
cf them all, and is rather a moral than a political fatire. 

In a comedy brought out in 426, the year before "The Archarnians," 
under the title of "The Babylonians," Ariflophanes appears to have given 
great offence to the democratic party, a circumftance to which he alludes 
more than once in the former play. However, his talents and popularity 
feem to have carried him over the danger, and certainly nothing can have 
exceeded the bitternefs of fatire employed in his fubfequent comedies. 
Thofe who followed him were lefs fortunate. 

One of the lateft writers of the Old Comedy was AnaximandrideS; 

in Literature and Art. 1 5 

who call a reflexion on the ftate of Athens in parodying a line of Euripides- 
This poet had faid, — 

>y (pvffig iSovXtG' fj vofiutv ovhv fiiXei 
(Nature has commanded, wh/ch cares nothing for the laws); 

which Anaximandrides changed to — 

>) TToXlQ tjSoi'XlO' tj VOfltOV oii^cv fliXd 

(The state has commanded, which cares nothingr for the laws). 

Nowhere is oppreflion exercifed with greater harflinefs than under demo- 
cratic governments ; and Anaximandrides was profecuted for this joke as 
a crime againft the flate, and condemned to death. As may be fuppofed, 
liberty of fpeech ceafed to exift in Athens. We are well acquainted with 
the chara6ter of the Old Comedy, in its greateft freedom, through the 
writings of Ariftophanes. What was called the Middle Comedy, in 
which political fatire was prohibited, lafted from this time until the age 
of Philip of Macedon, when the old liberty of Greece was finally crufhed. 
The laft form of Greek comedy followed, which is known as the 
New Comedy, and was reprefented by fuch names as Epicharmus and 
Menander. In the New Comedy all caricature and parody, and all 
perfonal allufions, were entirely profcribed ; it was changed entirely into 
a comedy of manners and domeftic life, a pi6ture of contemporary fociety 
under conventional names and characters. From this New Comedy was 
taken the Roman comedy, fuch as we now have it in the plays of Plautus 
and Terence, who were profefled imitators of Menander and the other 
writers of the new comedy of the Greeks. 

Pi6torial caricature was, of courfe, rarely to be feen on the public 
monuments of Greece or Rome, but muft have been configned to obje6ls 
of a more popular charafter and to articles of common ufe j and, accord- 
ingly, modern antiquarian rcfearch has brought it to light fomewhat 
abundantly on the pottery of Greece and Etruria, and on the wall-paint- 
ings of domeftic buildings in Herculaneum and Pompeii. The former 
contains comic fcenes, efpecially parodies, which are evidently transfi^rred 
to them from the ftage, and which preferve the malks and other attributes 
— fomc of which I have ncceflarily omitted — proving the model from 


mjioi-y of Caricature and Grotefque 

which they were taken. The Greeks, as we know from many iouices^ 
were extremely fond of parodies of every defcription, whether literary oi 
pi6tori?I. The fjbje6t of our cut No. 9 is a good example of the parodies 

No. 9. yf Greek Parody. 

found on the Greek pottery ; it is taken from a fine Etrulcan vafe,* and 
has been fuppofed to be a parody on the vifit of Jupiter to Alcmena. 
This appears rather doubtful, but there can be no doubt that it is a 
burlefque reprefentation of the vifit of a lover to the obje6t of his afpira- 
tions. The lover, in the comic mafk and coftume, mounts by a ladder to 
the window at which the lady prefents herfelf, who, it muft be confeffed, 
prefents the appearance of giving her admirer a very cold reception. He 
tries to conciliate her by a prefent of what feem to be apples, inftead of 

* Given in Panofka, " Antiques du Cabinet Pourtal^s," pi. x 

in Literature and Art. • 1 7 

cold, but without much etft'6l. He is attended by his forvant with a 
torch, to give him light on the way, which lliows that it is a night 
adventure. Both mafler and fer\'ant have wreaths round their heads, and 
the latter carries a third in his hand, which, with the contents of his 
balket, are alfo probably intended as prefents to the lady. 

A more unmiftakable burlefque on the vifit of Jupiter to Alcmena 
is publillied by Winckelmann from a vafe, formerly in the library of the 
\'atican, and now at St. Peterlburg. The treatment of the fubje6l is 
not unlike the pifture juft defcribed. Alcmena appears jull in the fame 
pofture at her chamber window, and Jupiter is carrying his ladder to 
mount up to her, but has not yet placed it againfl: the wall. His 
companion is identified with Mercury by the well-known caduceus he 
carries in his left hand, while with his right hand he holds a lamp up 
to the window, in order to enable Jupiter to fee the obje6t of his amour. 

It is aftonilhing with how much boldnefs the Greeks parodied and 
ridiculed facred fubje6ls. The Chriflian father, Arnobius, ui writing 
againft his heathen opponents, reproached them with this circumftance. 
The laws, he fays, were made to prote6t the charafters of men from 
flander and libel, but there was no fuch prote6tion for the charadlers of 
the gods, which were treated with the greateft difrefped.* This was 
efpecially the cafe in their pi6torial reprefentations. 

Pliny informs us that Ctefilochus, a pupil of the celebrated Apelles, 
painted a burlefque pifture of Jupiter giving birth to Bacchus, in which 
the god was reprefented in a very ridiculous pofture. f Ancient writers 
intimate that fimilar examples were not uncommon, and mention the 
names of feveral comic painters, whofe works of this clafs were in repute. 
Some of thefe were bitter perfonal caricatures, like a celebrated work of a 

• ArnobiuH {contra Gartfet), lib. iv. p. 1 50. Carmen mulum conscrihere, (jiio fama 
altctius coinquinatur et vita, dcccmviralibus scitis evadcre nohiistis impunc : ac nc 
vc-.tra< aurc< convitio aliquis petiilantiorc pulsaret, de atrocibus formulas coiixti- 
tiii»fi'< injiiriis. Soli dii sunt apiid vos siiperi inhonorati, contcmrihiks, vilcs : ir 
qiitj^ jus CNt vobis datum qusc quisque volucrit diccrc turpitudincin, ja( trc qua^ 
libido confinxcrit afquc cxcogitaverit formas. 

+" Pliny, Hint. Nat., lib. xxxv. t. 40. 




1 8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

painter named Cteficles, defcribed alfo by Pliny. It appears that Stra- 
tonice, the queen of Seleucus Nicator, had received this painter ill when 
he vifited her court, and in revenge he executed a pifture in which fhe . 
was reprefented, according to a current fcandal, as engaged in an amour 
with a common fitlierman, which he exhibited in the harbour of Ephefus, 
and then made his efcape on fhip-board. Pliny adds that the queen 
admired the beauty and accuracy of the painting more than Ihe felt the 
infult, and that {he forbade the removal of the pifture.* 

The fubje6t of our fecond example of the Greek caricature is better 
known. It is taken from an oxybaphon which was brought from the 
Continent to England, where it paffed into the colleftion of Mr. William 
Hope.f The oxybaphon {6S.v^a(j)ov), or, as it was called by the Romans, 
acetabulum, was a large velTel for holding vinegar, which formed one of 
the important ornaments of the table, and was therefore very fufceptible 
of piftorial embellifliment of this defcription. It is one of the moft remark- 
able Greek caricatures of this kind yet known, and reprefents a parody on 
one of the moft interefting ftories of the Grecian mythology, that of the 
arrival of Apollo at Delphi. The artift, in his love of burlefque, has 
fpared none of the perfonages who belonged to the ftory. The Hyper- 
borean Apollo himfelf appears in the chara6ter of a quack do6tor, on his 
temporary llage, covered by a fort of roof, and approached by wooden 
fteps. On the ftage lies Apollo's luggage, confifting of a bag, a bow, and 
his Scythian cap. Chiron (XIPQN) is reprefented as labouring under 
the efFe6ls of age and blindnefs, and fupporting himfelf by the aid of a 
crooked ftaff, as he repairs to the Delphian quack-dodor for relief. The 
figure of the centaur is made to afcend by the aid of a companion, both 
being furnilhed with the malks and other attributes of the comic per- 
formers. Above are the mountains, and on them the nymphs of Par- 
naffus (NYM$AI), who, like all the other aftors in the fcene, are difguifed 
with malks, and thofe of a very grotefque chara6ter. On the right-hand 

* Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. xxxv. c. 40. 

+ Engraved by Ch. Lenormant et J. de Witt »" Elite des Monuments Ceiamo- 
graphiques," pi. xciv. 

/// Literature ajid Art. 


lide ftaiids a figure which is conlidered as reprefenting ibe epoptes, the 
inlpedtor or overleer ot the performance, who alone wears no malk. 
Even a pun is employed to heighten the drollery of the fcene, for inllead 
of IIYelAS, the Pythian, placed over the head of the burlelque Apollo, 
it Teems evident that the artifl had written EEIQIAS, the conloler, in 
allufion, perhaps, to the conlblation which the quack-dodor is adminilier- 
insr to his blind arid asred vifitor. 

The Greek fpirit of parody, applied even to the moft facred fubjeds. 

No. 10. Apollo at Delphi. 

however it may have declined in Greece, was revived at Rome, and we find 
examples of it on the walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum. They fliow 
the fame rcadinefs to turn into burlcTiue the niofi: facred and popular 
k'gends of the Roman mythology. The example given (cut No. ii), 
from one of the wall-paintings, is peculiarly interefting, both from 
circumftances in the drawing itfclf, and bccaufe it is a parody on one of 
the favourite national legends of the Roman people, who pritlcd them- 


Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

felves on their defcent from ^neas. Virgil has told, with great efFed, 
the ftory of his hero's efcape from the deftruftion of Troy — or rather has 
put the ftory into his hero's mouth. When the devoted city was already 

fl n (1 ii n n n n n n fi fl n fl fl (] 

No. II. The Flight of Mneas from Troy. 

in flames, ^neas took his father, Anchifes, on his fhoulder, and his boy, 
Julus, or, as he was otherwife called, Afcanius, by the hand, and thus fled 
from his home, followed by his wife — 

Ergo age, care pater, cer-vic'i imponere nojlra ; 

Ipje Jubibo humerh, nee me labor ijie gra-vabh. 

Quo res cumyue cadent, unum et commune perklum, 

Una falus ambobus erit. Mihi parvus lulus 

Sit comes, et longe Jer-vat ■vejiigia conjux. — Virg. iEn., lib. ii. 1. 707. 

in Literature and Art. 


Thus they hurried on, the child holding by his father's right hand, and 
dragging after with " unequal Heps," — 

dextrtg fe par-vui lului 
ImpUcuit fequhurque patrem ncn pajfibus tequls. — Virg. iEn., lib. ii. 1. 723. 

And thus jEneas bore away both father and fon, and the penates, or 
houfehold gods, of his family, which were to be transferred to another 
country, and become the future guardians of Rome — 

yijcanium, Anchijemque patrem^ Tencrofque penates. — lb., 1. 7-17. 

In this cafe we know that the defign is intended to be a parody, 
or burlefque, upon a pi61:ure which appears to have been celebrated 

The I'li^hi ijf JEncas. 

at the time, and of which at lead two different copies are found upon 
ancient intaglios. It is the only cafe I know in which bulh the original 

22 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

and the parody have been preferved from this remote period, and this is 
fo curious a circumftance, that I give in the cut on the preceding page a 
copy of one of the intagUos.* It reprefented Uterally Virgil's account of 
the ftory, and the only difference between the defign on the intaglios and 
the one given in our firft cut is, that in the latter the perfonages are repre- 
fented under the forms of monkeys, ^neas, perfonified by the ftrong and 
vigorous animal, carrying the old monkey, Anchifes, on his left flioulder, 
hurries forward, and at the fame time looks back on the burning city. With 
his right hand he drags along the boy lulus, or Afcanius, who is evidently 
proceeding non pajjilus cequis, and with difficulty keeps up with his 
father's pace. The boy wears a Phrygian bonnet, and holds in his right 
hand the inftrument of play which we fliould now call a "bandy" 
— the pedun. Anchifes has charge of the box, which contains the facred 
penates. It is a curious circumftance that the monkeys in this pi£ture are 
the fame dog-headed animals, or cynocephali, which are found on 
the Egyptian monuments. 

* These intaglios are engraved in the Museum Fiorentinum of Gorius, vol. ii. 
pi. 30. On one of them the figures are reversed. 

When this chapter was already given for press, I first became acquainted with 
in interesting paper, by Panofka, on the " Parodieen und Karikatuien auf Weiken 
der Klassischen Kunst," in the " Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaf ten 
2u Berlin," for the year 1854, and I can only now refer my readers to it. 

in Literature and Art. 2 ■; 









THE Romans appear to have never had any real tafte for the regular 
drama, which they merely copied from the Greeks, and from the 
earlieft period of their hiftory we find them borrowing all their arts of 
this defcription from their neighbours. In Italy, as in Greece, the firft 
germs of comic literature may be traced in the religious feftivals, which 
prefented a mixture of religious worlhip and riotous feftivity, where the 
feallers danced and fung, and, as they becameexcited with wine and enthu- 
fiafm, indulged in mutual reproaches and abufe. The oldefl: poetry of the 
Romans, which was compofcd in irregular meafure, was reprefented by the 
vi-rfus faturn'mi, faid to have been fo called from their antiquity (for things 
of remote antiquity were believed to belong to the age of Saturn). Naevius, 
one of the oldeft of Latin poets, is faid to have written in this verfe. Next 
in order of time came the Fefcennine verfes, which appear to have been 
diftinguilhed chiefly by their licenfe, and received their name becaufe 
tliey were brought from Fefcennia, in Etruria, where they were employed 
originally in the feftivals of Ceres and Bacchus. In the year 391 of 
Rome, or 361 b.c, the city was vifited by a dreadful plague, and the 
citizens hit upon what will apjiear to us the rather ftrange exjjedient of 
fending for performers {ludioncs) from Etruria, hoping, by employing 
thcgi, to appeafe the anger (jf the gods. Any perfornur ot this kiiui 
appears to have been fu little known to the Runians before this, tiiat 

24 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

there was not even a name for him in the language, and they were 
obhged to adopt the Tufcan word, and call him a hjjlrio, becaufe kifter in 
that language meant a player or pantomimift. This word, we know, 
remained in the Latin language. Thefe firft Etrurian performers appear 
indeed to have been mere pantomimifts, who accompanied the flute with 
all forts of mountebank tricks, geftures, dances, gefticulations, and the 
like, mixed with fatirical fongs, and fometimes with the performance of 
coarfe farces. The Romans had alfo a clafs of performances rather more 
dramatic in chara6ter, confifting of ftories which were named Falulce 
AtellancB, becaufe thefe performers were brought from Atella, a city of 
the Ofci. 

A confiderable advance was made in dramatic Art in Rome about the 
middle of the third century before Chrill. It is afcribed to a freedman 
named Livius Andronicus, a Greek by birth, who is faid to have brought 
out, in the year 240 e.g., the firft regular comedy ever performed in 
Rome. Thus we trace not only the Roman comedy, but the very rudi- 
ments of dramatic art in Rome, either dire6l to the Greeks, or to the 
Grecian colonies in Italy. With the Romans, as well as with the Greeks, 
the theatre was a popular inftitution, open to the public, and the flate or 
a wealthy individual paid for the performance ; and therefore the building 
itfelf was neceflarily of very great extent, and, in both countries open to 
the Iky, except that the Romans provided for throwing an awning over 
it. As the Roman comed^v was copied from the new comedy of the 
Greeks, and therefore did not admit of the introdu6tion of caricature and 
burlefque on the ftage, thefe were left efpecially to the province of the 
pantomime and farce, which the Romans, as juft ftated, had received 
from a ftill earlier period. 

Whether the Romans borrowed the malk. from the Greeks, or not, is 
rather uncertain, but it was ufed as generally in the Roman theatres, 
whether in comedy or tragedy, as among the Greeks. The Greek a6lors 
performed upon ftilts, m order to magnify their figures, as the area of the 
theatre was very large and uncovered, and without this help they were 
not fo well feen at a diftance ; and one obje6l of utility aimed at by the 
maik is faid to have been to make the head appear proportionate in fize 

in Lite?'ature and Art. 


to the artiticia] height of the body. It may be remarked that the malk 
feems generally to have been made to cover the whole head, reprefenting 
the hair as well as the face, lb that the character of age or complexion 
might be given complete. Among the Romans the Hilts were certainly 
not in general ufe, but llill the malk, befides its comic or tragic charader, 
is fuppofed to have ferved ufeful purpofes. The firll improvement upon 
its original llrudture is laid to have been the making it of brals, or fome 

Ac. 13. ^ Scene from Terence, 

other fonorous metal,or at leaft lining the mouth with it,fo as to reverberate, 
and give force to the voice, and alio to the mouth of tlie malk fomethiiigof 
the chara6ter of a fpeaking-trumpet.* All thefe acceflbries could not fail to 
detract much from the effe6t of the a6ting, which mull in general have 
been very meafured and formal, and have received moll of its importance 
fn^ni tiie excellence of the jioetry, and the declamatory talents ot the 
adorb. We have pictures in which fcenes from the Roman (lage are 

• It is haid to have received its Latin name from this tin uiiistancc, />'*■>«<», «• 
fxrjinanjo. bcc Aulus GcUiuii, Nott Alt., lib. v. c. 7. 


Hijiory of Caricature a?id Grotefque 

accurately reprefented. Several rather early manufcripts of Terence have 
been preferved, illuftrated with drawings of the fcenes as reprefented on 
the ftage, and thefe, though belonging to a period long fubfequent to the 
age in which the Roman ftage exifted in its original charafter, are, no 
doubt, copied from drawings of an earlier date. A German antiquary of 
the laft century, Henry Berger, publiflied in a quarto volume a feries of 
fuch illuftrations from a manufcript of Terence in the library of the 
Vatican at Rome, from which two examples are (ele6led, as fhowing the 




No. 14. Geta and Demea, 

ufual ftyle of Roman comic a6ling, and the ufe of the mafk. The firft 
(No. 13) is the opening fcene in the Andria. On the right, two fervants 
have brought provifions, and on the left appear Simo, the mafler of the 
houfehold, and his freedman, Sofia, who feems to be entrufted with the 
charge of his domeftic affairs. Simo tells his fervants to go away with 
the provifions, while he beckons Sofia to confer with him in private : — 

Si. fos ijicec intra auferte ; abite. Sofia, 
Adejdiim ; panels te -volo. So. D'lElum futa 
Nempe ut curentur reEie hac. SL Imo al'iud. 

Terent, Andr., Actus i., Scena 1. 

/"// Literature ami Art 


^^'hen we compare thefe words with the pifture, we cannot but feel that 
in the latter there is an unneceflary degree of energy put into the pofe 
of the figures; which is perhaps lefs the cafe in the other (No. 14), an 
iiluilration of the lixth fcene of the fifth att of the Adelphi of Terence. It 
reprefents the meeting of Geta, a rather talkative and conceited fervant, 
and Demea, a countryfied and churlilh old man, his acquaintance, and of 
ccurfe fuperior. To Geta's falutation, Demea alks churlilhly, as not at 
firft knowing him, "Who are you?" but when he finds that it is Geta, 
he changes fuddenly to an almoft fawning tone : — 

G Sed eccum SjI-vus Jic'S. 

D. OAf qui 'vocare ? G-. Geta. D. Cera, homlnem max'imi 
Preiii ejje tt kodie judica-vi animo met. 

That thefe reprefentations are truthful, the fcenes in the wall-paintings 
of Pompeii leave us no room to doubt. One of thefe is produced in our 
cut No. 15, which is no doubt taken from a comedy now loft, and we 

A'o. 15. Ci^mic Scene from J'om^eii, 

are ignorant whom the characters are intended to reprefcnt. The Jxft- 
given to the two comic figures, compared with the example given Irum 


Hijiory of Caricature aJid Grotefque 

Berger, would lead us to fuppofe that this over-energetic aftion was 
confidered as part of the chara6ler of comic afting. 

The fubje6t of the Roman ma(ks is the more interefting, becaufe they 
were probably the origin of many of the grotefque faces fo often met 
with in mediaeval fculpture. The comic malk was, indeed, a very popular 
objeft among the Romans, and appears to have been taken as fymbolical 
of everything that was droll and burlefque. From the comic fcenes of 
the theatre, to which it was firft appropriated, it paffed to the popular 
feftivals of a public charafter, fuch as the Lupercalia, with which, no 
doubt, it was carried into the carnival of the middle ages, and to our 
mafquerades. Among the Romans, alfo, the ufe of the malk foon palTed 
from the public feftivals to private fupper parties. Its ufe was fo common 
that it became a plaything among children, and was fometimes ufed as a 
bugbear to- frighten them. Our cut No. i6, taken from a painting at 

No. 16. Cufids at Play. 

Retina, reprefents two cupids playing with a mafk, and ufing it for this 
latter purpofe, that is, to frighten one another; and it is curious that the 
mediaeval glofs of Ugutio explains larva, a malk, as being an image, 
"which was put over the face to frighten children."* The malk thus 
became a favourite ornament, efpecially on lamps, and on the antefixa 

* " Simulacrum quod opponltur faciei ad terrendos parvos." (Ugutio, ap. 

Ducange, v. Mafca.) 

/;/ Literature a fid Art. 


and gargoyls of Roman buildings, to which were often given the form of 
grotefque malks, monftrous faces, with great mouths wide open, and 
other figures, Hke thofe of the gargoyls of the mediaeval archite6b5. 

While the comic malk was ufed generally in the burlefque entertain- 
ments, it alfo became diftinftive of particular chara6lers. One of thefe 
was \\\Qfannio, or buffoon, whofe name was derived from the Greek word 
advYoq, "a fool," and who was employed in performing burlefque dances, 
niakine grimaces, and in other afts calculated to excite the mirth of the 
fpeftator. A reprefentation of {he fannio is given in our cut No. 17, 

No. 17. TAe Roman Sannio, or Buffoon. 

copied from one of the engravings in the "Differtatio de Larvis Scenicis," 
by the Italian antiquary F'icoroni, who took it from an engraved gem. 
The fannio holds in his hand what is fuppofed to be a brals rod, and he has 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

probably another in the other hand, fo that he could flrike them together. 
He wears the foccus, or low flioe peculiar to the comic a6tors. This 
buftbon was a favourite charafter among the Romans, who introduced 
him conflantly into their feafts and fupper parties. The majiducus was 
another charafter of this defcription, reprefented with a grotefque malt, 
prefenting a wide mouth and tongue lolling out, and faid to have been 
peculiar to the Atellane plays. A charader in Plautus (Rud., ii. 6, 51) 
talks of hiring himfelf as a vianducus in the plays. 

" Slmdji al'iquo ad ludos me pro manduco locem ? " 

The mediaeval glofles interpret manducus hy joculator, "a jogelor," and 
add that the charafteriflic from which he took his name was the pradice 
of making grimaces like a man gobbling up his food in a vulgar and 
gluttonous manner. 

Ficoroni gives, from an engraved onyx, a figure of another burlefque 
performer, copied in our cut No. 18, and which he compares to the 

No. 1 8. Roman Tom Fool. 

Catanian dancer of his time (his book was publilhed in 1754), who was 
called a giangurgolq. This is confidered to reprefent the Roman mimus, 
a clafs of performers who told with mimicry and a6tion fcenes taken from 

/// Literature and Art. 3 1 

common life, and more efpecially fcandalous and indecent anecdotes, like 
the jogelors and performers of farces in the middle ages. The Romans 
were ver)' much attached to thefe performances, fo nmch fo, that they 
even had them at their funeral prcceflions and at their funeral feafts. In 
our tigure, the vnmiis is reprefented naked, malked (with an exaggerated 
nofe), and wearing what is perhaps intended as a caricature of the 
Phrygian bonnet. In his right hand he holds a bag, or purfe, full of 
objedls which rattle and make a noife when fliaken, while the other holds 
the crotalum, or caflanets, an inftrument in common ufe among the 
ancients. One of the ftatues in the Barberini Palace reprefents a youth 
in a Phr)'gian cap playing on the crotalum. We learn, from an early 
authority, that it was an inftrument efpecially ufed in the fatirical and 
burlefque dances which were fo popular among the Romans. 

As I have remarked before, the Romans had no tafte for the regular 
drama, but they retained to the laft their love for the performances of 
the popular mimi, or comcedi (as they were often called), the players 
of farces, and the dancers. Thefe performed on the ftage, in the public 
feftivals, in the ftreets, and were ufually introduced at private parties.* 
Suetonius tells us that on one occafion, the emperor Caligula ordered a 
poet who compofed the Atellanes {Atillance poetam) to be burnt in 
the middle of the amphitheatre, for a pun. A more regular comedy, 
however, did flourifh, to a certain degree, at the fame time with thefe 
more popular compofitions. Of the works of the earlieft of the Roman 
comic writers, Livius Andronicus and Naevius, we know only one or two 
titles, and a few fragments quoted in the works of the later Roman 
writers. They were followed by Plautus, who died b.c. 184, and nineteen 
of whofe comedies are preferved and well known ; by feveral other 
writers, whofe names are ahnoft forgotten, and whofe comedies are all 
loft ; and by Terence, fix of whofe comedies are preferved. Terence 
died about the year 159 B.C. About the fame time with Terence lived 

• Sec, for nllu«.ions to the private cm|iloymtnt of these pcrfoniKinccs, Pliny, 
Epi^t. i. IS, and ix. 36. 

3 2 Hifiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Lucius Afranius and Quin6tius Atta, who appear to clofe the hft of the 
Roman writers of comedy. 

But another branch of comic Hterature had fprung out of the fatire of 
the rehgious feftivities. A year after Livius Andronicus produced the 
firft drama at Rome, in the year 239 e.g., the poet Ennius was born at 
Rudiae, in Magna Graecia. The fatirical verfe, whether Saturnine or 
Fefcennine, had been gradually improving in its form, although ftill very 
rude, but Ennius is faid to have given at leaft a new polifli, and perhaps 
a new metrical fliape, to it. The verfe was ftill irregular, but it 
appears to have been no longer intended for recitation, accompanied by 
the flute. The Romans looked upon Ennius not only as their earlieft epic 
poet, but as the father of fatire, a clafs of literary compofition which 
appears to have originated with them, and which they claimed as their 
own.* Ennius had an imitator in M. Terentius Varro. The fatires ot 
thefe firfl writers are faid to have been very irregular compofitions, mixing 
profe with verfe, and fometimes even Greek with Latin j and to have 
been rather general in their aim than perfonal. But fcon after this 
period, and rather more than a century before Chrift, came Caius 
Lucilius, who raifed Roman fatirical literature to its perfeftion. Lucilius, 
we are told, was the firft who wrote fatires in heroic verfe, or hexameters, 
mixing with them now and then, though rarely, an iambic or trochaic 
hue. He was more refined, more pointed, and more perfonal, than his 
predeceflbrs, and he had refcued fatire from the ftreet performer to make 
it a clafs of literature which was to be read by the educated, and not 
merely liftened to by the vulgar. Lucilius is faid to have written thirty 
books of fatires, of which, unfortunately, only fome fcattered lines 

Lucilius had imitators, the very names of moft of whom are now for- 
gotten, but about forty years after his death, and fixty-five years before 
the birth of Chrift, was born Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the oldeft of the 
fatirifts whofe works we now poflefs, and the moft poliftied of Roman 

* Quintilian says, " Sat'ira quidem tota nojira eJi.'"' De Instit. Orator., lib. x. c. i. 

in Literature and Art. 3 3 

pucts. In the time of Horace, the fatire of the Romans had reached i^s 
higheft degree of perfcdion. Of the two other great fatiriUs whofe works 
are prefened, Juvenal was born about the year 40 of the Chrirtian era, 
and Perlius in 43. During the period through which ihefe writers 
flourilhed, Rome faw a conliderable number of other fatirills of the 
fame clafs, whofe works have perifhed. 

Tn the time of Juvenal another variety of the fame clafs of literature had 
already fprung up, more artificial and fomewhat more indireft than the 
other, the profe fatiric romance. Three celebrated writers reprefent this 
fchool. Petronius, who^ born about the commencement of our era, 
died in a.d. 6<,, is the earlieft and moft remarkable of them. He 
compiled a romance, defigned as a fatire on the vices of the age of Nero, 
in which real perfons are fuppofed to be aimed at under fiAitious names, 
and which rivals in licenfe, at leaft, anything that could have been uttered 
in the Atellanes or other farces of the mimi. Lucian, of Samofata, who 
died an old man in the year 200, and who, though he wrote in Greek, 
may be confidered as belonging to the Roman Ichool, ccmpofed feveral 
fatires of this kind, in one of the moft remarkable of which, entitled 
" Lucius, or the Afs," the author defcribes himfelf as changed by forcery 
into the form of that animal, under which he pafles through a number 
of adventures which illuftrate the vices and weaknelfes of contemporary 
fociety. Apuleius, who w^as ccnfiderably the junior of Lucian, made this 
novel the groundwork of his " Golden Afs," a much larger and more 
elaborate work, written in Latin. This work of Apuleius was very 
popular through fubfequent ages. 

Let us return to Roman caricature, one form of which feems to have 
been efpecially a favourite among the people. It is difficult to imagine 
how the ftory of the pigmies and of their wars with the cranes originated, 
but ii is certainly of great antiquity, as it is fpoken of in Homer, and it 
was a very popular legend among the Romans, who eagerly fought and 
purchafed dwarfs to make domeftic pets of tliem. The pigmies and 
cranes occur frequently among the piftorial ornamentations of the houfes 
of Pompeii and Herculaneuni ; and the painters of Pompeii not only 
rcprdcnled them in their proper charader, but they made ufe of them for 



Hijlory of Caricature and Grotejque 

the purpofe of caricaturing the various occupations of life — domeftic 
and focial fcenes, grave conferences, and many other fabjefts, and 
even perfonal chara6ter. In this clafs of caricatures they gave to the 
pigmies, or dwarfs, very large heads, and very fmall legs and arms. I 
need hardly remark that this is a clafs of caricature vi^hich is very common 
in modern times. Our firfi: group of thefe pigmy caricatures (No. 19) is 

Nq, 19. The Farm-yard in Burlejque. 

taken from a painting on the walls of the Temple of Venus, at Pompeii, 
and reprefents the interior of a farm-yard in burlefque. The flru6ture in 
the background is perhaps intended for a hayrick. In front of it, one of 
the farm fervants is attending on the poultry. The more important- 
looking perfonage with the paftoral ftaff is poffibly the overfeer of the 

farm, who is vifiting the labourers, and this 

probably is the caufe why their movements 

have affumed fo much aftivity. The labourer 

on the right is ufing the ojilla, a wooden yoke 

or pole, which was carried over the shoulder, 

with the corlis, or baiket, fufpended at each 

end. This was a common method of carrying, 

and is not unfrequently reprefented on Roman 

works of art. Several examples might be 

quoted from the antiquities of Pompeii. Our 

cut No. 20, from a gem in the Florentine 

Mufeum, and illuftrating another clafs of caricature, that of introducing 

animals performing the aftions and duties of men, reprefents a grafshopper 

carrying the qfilla and the corhes. 

No. 20. An Afilla-Bearer. 

in Literature and Art, 


A private houlc in Pompeii furnillied another example of this flyle of 
caricature, which is given in our cut No. 21. It reprek-nts the interior of 
a painter's lludio, and is extremely curious on account of the numerous 
details of his method of operation with which it furnillies us. The 

No. 21. A Painter^ s Studio. 

painter, who is, like moft of the figures in thefe pigmy caricatures, very 
fcantily clothed, is occupied with the portrait of another, who, by the 
rather exaggerated fulnefs of the gathering of his toga, is evidently 
intended for a dailiing and fafliionable patrician, though he is feated as 
bare-legged and bare-breeched as the artift himfelf. Both are diftinguillied 
by a large allowance of nofe. The eafel here employed refembles greatly 
the fame article now in ufe, and might belong to the Audio of a 
modern painter. Before it is a fmall table, probably formed of a llab 
of (lone, which fen'es for a palette, on which the painter fpreads and 
mixes his colours. To the right a fervant, who fills the office of colour- 
grinder, is feated by the fide of a velfel placed over hot coals, and appears 
to be preparing colours, mixed, according to tlie diredions given in okl 
writers, with punic wax and oil. In the background is feated a fhulent, 
whofe attention is taken from his drawing by what is going on at the 
other fide of the room, where two fmall perfonages are Liilering, who 
lo(jk as if they were amateurs, and who appear to be talking about the 
portrait. B(;liind tlum fiand.'> a birti, and wlitn the painting wa-^ full 


Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

uncovered there were two. Mazois, who made the drawing from which 
our cut is taken, before the original had periihed — for it was found in a 
ftate of decay — imagined that the birds typified fome well-known 
fingers or muficians, but they are, perhaps, merely intended for cranes, 
birds fo generally affociated with the pigmies. 

According to an ancient writer, combats of pigmies were favourite 
reprefentations on the walls of taverns and {hops ;* and, curioufly enough, 
the walls of a fliop in Pompeii have furnifhed the pifture reprefented in 
our cut No. 22, which has evidently been intended for a caricature, 

No. 22. Tart of a Triumphal ProceJJion. 

probably a parody. All the pigmies in this pi6ture are crow^ned with 
laurel, as though the painter intended to turn to ridicule fome over- 
pompous triumph, or fome public, perhaps religious, ceremony. The tw^o 
figures to the left, who are clothed in yellow and green garments, appear 
to be difputing the polfeflion of a bowl containing a liquid. One of 
thefe, like the two figures on the right, has a hoop thrown over his 
Ihoulder. The firfl of the latter perfonages wears a violet drefs, and 
holds in his right hand a rod, and in his left a flatuette, apparently of a 

* Ivi Toiv KaTrtjXiiuv. Problem. Aristotelic. Sec. x. 7. 

/;/ Literature and Art. 2i,7 

deity, but its attributes are not dilVmguifliable. The laft figure to the 
riorht has a robe, or mantle, of two colours, red and green, and holds in 
his hand a branch of a lily, or fonie fimilar plant ; the reft of the pi6ture 
is loft. Behind the other figure ftands a fifth, who appears younger and 
more refined in chara6ter than the others, and feems to be ordering or 
direftinsf them. His drels is red. 

We can have no doubt that political and perfonal caricature flouriflied 
among the Romans, as we have fome examples of it on their works of 
art, chiefly on engraved ftones, though thefe are moftly of a charafter we 
could not here conveniently introduce ; but the fame rich mine of Roman 
art and antiquities, Pompeii, has furnifhed us with one fample of what 
may be properly confidered as a political caricature. In the year 59 of the 
Chriilian era, at a gladiatorial exliibition in the amphitheatre of Pompeii, 
where the people of Nuceria were prefent, the latter exprelTed themfelves 
in fuch fcornful terms towards the Pompeians, as led to a violent quarrel, 
which was followed by a pitched battle between the inhabitants of the 
two towns, and the Nucerians, being defeated, carried their complaints 
before the reigning emperor, Nero, who gave judgment in their favour, 
and condemned the people of Pompeii to fufpenfion from ail theatrical 
amufements for ten years. The feelings of the Pompeians on this occafion 
are difplayed in the rude drawing reprefented in our cut No. 23, which 
is fcratched on the plafter of the external wall of a houfe in the ftreet to 
which the Italian antiquarians have given the name of the ftreet ot 
Mercur)'. A figure, completely armed, his head covered with what might 
be taken for a mediaeval helmet, is defcending what appear to be intended 
f(ir the fteps of the amphitheatre. He carries in his hand a palm-branch 
the emblem of victory. Another palm-branch ftands ere6t by his (idc, 
and underneath is the infcription, in rather ruftic Latin, "CAMPANI 
nians, you periftied in the vidory together with the Nucerians." The 
other fide cf the pi6ture is more rudely and haftily drawn. It has bteii 
fuppof«;d to reprefent one of the viftors dragging a prifont-r, with his arms 
l)ound, up a ladder to a ftage or platform, on which he was perhaps to be 
fxhibilrd to the jeers of the popidace. Four years after this event, 


Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Pompeii was greatly damaged by an earthquake, and fixteen years later 
came the eruption of Vefuvius, which buried the town, and left it in the 
condition in which it is now found. 

This curious caricature belongrs to a clafs of monuments to which 


archaeologifts have given technically the Italian name of graffiti, fcratches 
or fcrawls, of which a great number, coniilling chiefly of writing, have 
been found on the walls of Pompeii. They alfo occur among the remains 
on other Roman fites, and one found in Rome itfelf is efpecially intereft- 

No. 23. A Popular Caricature. 

ing. During the alterations and extenlions which were made from time 
to time in the palace of the Caefars, it had been found neceflary to build 
acrofs a narrow ftreet which interfered the Palatine, and, in order to give 
fupport to the ftru6lure above, a portion of the ftreet was walled oif, and 
remained thus hermetically fealed until about the year 1857, when fome 
excavations on the fpot brought it to view. The walls of the ftreet were 
found to be covered with thefe graffiti, among which one attrafted efpecial 
attention, and, having been carefully removed, is now preferved in the 
muleuni of the Collegio Romano. It is a caricature upon a Chriftian 

/;/ Literature ajid Art. 

named Alexamenos, by Ibme pagan who derpilcd Chrirtianity. I'he 
Saviour is reprefented under the form of a man with the head of an afs, 
extended upon a crofs, the Chrillian, Alexamenos, (landing on one fide in 
the attitude of worlhip of that period. Underneath we read the infcrip- 

c e B F T i 


^0. 24. Early Caricature upon a Chrijl'tan, 

tion, AAESAMEN02 CEBETE (for frc/jtra-) ©EON, "Alexamenos 
worlliips God." This curious figure, which may be placed among the 
inoft interefting as well as early evidences of the truiii uf Gofpel hifiory, 
is copied in our cut No. 24. It was drawn when the prevailing religion 
at Rome was ftill pagan, and a Chriftian was an objedt of contempt. 

40 . Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 





THE tranfition from antiquity to what we ufually underfland by the 
name of the middle ages was long and flow; it was a period during 
which much of the texture of the old fociety was deftroyed, while at the fame 
time a new life was gradually given to that which remained. We know very 
little of the comic literature of this period of tranfition 3 its literary remains 
confift chiefly of a mafs of heavy theology and of lives of faints. The 
ftage in its perfedly dramatic form — theatre and amphitheatre — had dis- 
appeared. The pure drama, indeed, appears never to have had great 
vitality among the Romans, whofe taftes lay far more among the vulgar 
performances of the mimics and jefl:ers, and among the favage fcenes of 
the amphitheatre. While probably the performance of comedies, fuch 
as thofe of Plautus and Terence, foon went out of fafliion, and tragedies, 
like thofe of Seneca, were only written as literary compofitions, imitations 
of the fimilar works which formed fo remarkable a feature in the litera- 
ture of Greece, the Romans of all ranks loved to witnefs the loofe atti- 
tudes of their mimi, or liften to their equally loofe fongs and ftories. The 
theatre and the amphitheatre were ftate inftitutions, kept up at the 
national expenfe, and, as juft ftated, they perilhed with the overthrow of 
the weflern empire ; and the fanguinary performances of the amphitheatre. 

in Literature and Art. 4 1 

if the amphitheatre itlelf continued to be ufed (which was perhaps the 
cafe in ibme parts of weflern Europe), and they gave place to the more 
harmlefs exliibitions of dancing beare and other tamed animals,* for 
deliberate cruelty was not a charaderiftic of the Teutonic race. But the 
in'imi, the performers who fung fongs and told ftories, accompanied with 
dancing and mufic, furvived the fall of the empire, and continued to be 
as popular as ever. St. Augulline, in the fourth century, calls thefe 
things nefaria, detellable things, and fays that they were performed at 
night. t We trace in the capitularies the continuous exiftence of ihefe 
performances during the ages which followed the empire, and, as in the 
time of St. Auguftine, they flill formed the amufement of nofturnal 
aflemblies. The capitulary of Childebert profcribes thofe who palled 
their nights with drunkennefs, jefting, and fongs. | The council of 
Narbonne, in the year 589, forbade people to fpend their nights " with 
dancings and lilthy fongs." § The council of Mayenee, in 813, calls thefe 
fongs "filthy and licentious" {turpia atque luxur'wfa) ; and that of Paris 
fpeaks of them as "obfcene and filthy" (olfccena et turpia); while in 
another they are called "frivolous and diabolic." From the bitternefs 
with which the ecclefiaftical ordinances are exprefled, it is probable 
that thefe performances continued to preferve much of their old 
paganifm ; yet it is curious that they are fpoken of in thefe capitularies 
and adts of the councils as being ftill praftifed in the religious feflivals, 
and even in the churches, fo tenacioufly did the old fentiments of the 
race keep their poflTefTion of the minds of the populace, long after they 
had embraced Chriftianity. Thefe "fongs," as they are called, continued 
alfo to confift not only of general, but of perfonal fatire, and contained 

• On this subject, sec my " History of Domestic Manners and Sentiments," 
p. 65. The darning bear appears to liavc been a favourite performer aniong the 
Germans at a very early period. 

f Per lotam noctcm cantabantur hie nefaria ct a cantatoribus saltubalur. 
Augustini Scrm. 311, part v. 

I Noctes pervigiles cum ebrietatc, scurriiitate, vel cantitis. Sic ihc Capitulary 
in Labhci Concil , vol. v. 

^ Ut populL .... saitationibus ct turpibus invigilant canticis. 

42 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

fcandalous ftories of perfons living, and well known to thofe who heard 
them. A capitulary of the Frankifh king Childeric III., publiflied in 
the year 744, is direfted againft thofe who conipofe and fing fongs in 
defamation of others {in hlafphemiam allerius, to ufe the rather energetic 
language of the original) ; and it is evident that this offence was a very 
common one, for it is not unfrequently repeated in later records of this 
charafter in the fame words or in words to the fame purpofe. Thus one 
refult of the overthrow of the Roman empire was to leave comic literature 
almoft in the fame condition in which it was found by Thefpis in Greece 
and by Livius Andronicus in Rome. There was nothing in it which 
would be contrary to the feelings of the new races who had now planted 
themfelves in the Roman provinces. 

The Teutonic and Scandinavian nations had no doubt their popular 
feftivals, in which mirth and frolic bore fway, though we know little 
about them 5 but there were circumftances in their domeftic manners 
which implied a neceflity for amufement. After the comparatively early 
meal, the hall of the primitive Teuton was the fcene — efpecially in the 
darker months of winter — of long fittings over the feftive board, in which 
there was much drinking and much talking, and, as we all know, fuch 
talking could not preferve long a very ferious tone. From Bede's account 
of the poet Caedmon, we learn that it was the praftice of the Anglo-Saxons 
in the feventh century, at their entertainments, for all thofe prefent 
to fing in their turns, each accompanying himfelf with a mufical 
infl:rument. From the fequel of the ftory we are led to fuppofe that 
thefe fongs were extemporary effufions, probably mythic legends, ftories 
of perfcnal adventure, praife of themfelves, or vituperation of their 
enemies. In the chieftain's houfehold there appears to have been 
ufually fome individual who a6led the part of the fatirift, or, as we fhould 
perhaps now fay, the comedian. Hunferth appears as holding fome fuch 
pofition in Beowulf j in the later romances. Sir Kay held a fimilar pofition 
at the court of king Arthur. At a ftill later period, the place of thefe 
heroes was occupied by the court fool. The Roman mimus muft have been 
a welcome addition to the entertainments of the Teutonic hall, and there 
Is every reafon to think that he was cordially received. The performances 


in Literature and Art. 43 

of the hall were foon delegated from the guells to fuch hired aftors, and 
we have reprelVntations of them in the illuminations of Anglo-Saxon 
manufcripts.* Among the earlieft amufements of the Anglo-Saxon table 
were riddles, which in every form prefent fome of the features of the 
comic, and are capable of being made the fource of much laughter. The 
faintly Aldhelm condefcended to write fuch riddles in Latin verfe, which 
were, of courfe, intended for the tables of the clergy. In primitive 
fociety, verfe was the ordinary form of conveying ideas. A large portion 
of the celebrated coUeftion of Anglo-Saxon poetry known as the 
" Exeter Book," confilts of riddles, and this tafte for riddles has continued 
to exill down to our own times. But other forms of entertainment, if 
they did not already exift, were foon introduced. In a curious Latin poem, 
older than the twelfth century, of which fragments only are preferved, 
and have been publifhed under the title of " Ruodlieb," and which 
ajipcars to have been a tranflation of a much earlier German romance, 
we have a curious defcription of the poft-prandial entertainments after 
the dinner of a great Teutonic chieftain, or king. In the iirlt place there 
was a grand difiribution of rich prefents, and then were fliown ftrange 
animals, and among the reft tame bears. Thefe bears flood upon their 
hind legs, and performed fome of the offices of a man ; and when the 
minftrels (inimi) came in, and played upon their mufical inftruments, thefe 
anunals danced to the mufic, and performed all forts of ftrange tricks. 

Et parties urji 

Siui "vas toiiebant, ut homo, b'iptdejque gerehant. 
Aiimi quando fides digit is tangunt mcdu/antes, 
llli faltabant, neumas pedibas variabant. 
Intcrdum faliunt, fejeque juper jaciebant. 
j4lterutrum dor jo Je portabant refidcndoj 
jimplexando Je, ludando dejiciunt Jc. 

Then followed dancmg-girls, and exliibitions of other kinds.f 

• The reader is referred, for further information on this subject, to my " History 
of Domcsric Manner.-, and Sentiments," pp. 33-39. 

+ This curious Latin poem was printed by Grimm and Sthmeiler, in their 
Latcini-schc Gedithtc dc.s x. und xi. Jh., p. 129. 

44 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Although thefe performances were profcribed by the ecclefiaftical 
laws, they were not difcountenanced by the ecclefiaftics themfelves, who, 
on the contrary, indulged as much in after-dinner amufements as any- 
body. The laws againft the profane fongs are often direded efpecially 
at the clergy ; and it is evident that among the Anglo-Saxons, as well 
as on the Continent, not only the priefts and monks, but the nuns alfo, 
in their love of fuch amufements, far tranfgreffed the bounds of decency.* 
Thefe entertainments were the cradle of comic literature, but, as this 
literature in the early ages of its hiftory was rarely committed to writing, 
it has almofl entirely periihed. But, at the tables of the ecclefiaftics, 
thefe ftories were fometimes told in Latin verfe, and as Latin was not 
fo eafily carried in the memory as the vernacular tongue, in this lan- 
guage they were fometimes committed to writing, and thus a few 
examples of early comic literature have fortunately been preferved. Thefe 
confill chiefly of popular ftories, which were among the favourite amufe- 
ments of mediaeval fociety — ftories many of which are derived from the 
earlieft period of the hiftory of our race, and are ftill cherilhed among 
our peafantry. Such are the ftories of the Child of Snow, and of 
the Mendacious Hunter, preferved in a manufcript of the eleventh 
century. t The firft of thefe was a very popular ftory in the middle 
ages. According to this early verfion, a merchant of Conftance, in 
Switzerland, was detained abroad for feveral years, during which time 
his wife made other acquaintance, and bore a child. On his return, Ihe 
excufed her fault by telling him that on a cold wintry day fhe had 
fwallowed fnow, by which Ihe had conceived ; and, in revenge, the 
bulband carried away the child, and fold it into flavery, and returning. 

* On the character of the nuns among the Anglo-Saxons, and indeed ot the 
inmates of the monastic houses generally, I would refer my readers to the excellent 
and interesting volume by Mr. John Thrupp, "The Anglo-Saxon Home: a 
History of the Domestic Institutions and Customs of England from the fifth to the 
eleventh century." London, 1862. 

f These will be found in M. Ed^lestand du MeriPs Poesies Populaires Latines 
anterieures au douzieme siecle, pp. 275, 2,76. 

in Literature ami Art. 45 

told its mother, that the infant which had originated in fnow, had melted 
away under a hotter fun. Some of thefe (lories originated in the 
ditil-rent colleAions of fables, which were part of the favourite literature 
of the later Roman period. Another is rather a ridiculous ftory of an 
afs belonging to two fillers in a nunnery, which was devoured by a 
wolf.* It is curious how foon the mediaeval clergy began to imitate 
their pagan predecelfors in parodying religious fubje6ls and forms, of 
which we have one or two ver)' curious examples. Vilits to purgatory, 
hell, and paradife, in body or fpirit, were greatly in falhion during the 
earlier part of the middle ages, and afforded extremely good material 
for fatire. In a metrical Latin ftory, preferved in a manufcript of the 
eleventh century, we are told how a " prophet," or vifionary, went to 
Heriger, archbifhop of Mayence from 912 to 926, and told him that 
he had been carried in a vifion to the regions below, and defcribed them 
as a place furrounded by thick woods. It was the Teutonic notion of 
hell, and indeed of all fettlements of peoples ; and Heriger replied 
with a fneer that he would fend his herdfmen there with his lean fwine 
to fatten tliem. Each " mark," or land of a family or clan, in the 
early Teutonic fettlements, was furrounded by woodland, which was 
common to all members of the clan for fattening their fwine and 
hunting. The falfe dreamer added, that he was afterwards carried to 
heaven, where he faw Chrill fitting at the table and eating. John the 
Baptill was butler, and ferved excellent wine round to the faints, who 
were the Lord's guefts. St. Peter was the chief cook. After fome 
remarks on the appointments to thefe two offices, archbilliop Heriger 
alked the informant how he was received in the heavenly hall, where he 
fat, and what he eat. He replied that he fat in a corner, and tlole from 
the cooks a piece of liver, which he eat, and then departed. Inflead of 
rewarding him for his information, Heriger took him on his own confeflion 

• This, and the metrical story next rcft-rrccl to, were printed in the " Altdciitsche 
Bliitter," edited by Moiiz Haupt and Heiniith Ilotrmann, vol. i. pp. 390, 392, ro 
whom I communicated them from a manuscript in the University Library at 

4-6 mjlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

for the theft, and ordered him to be bound to a ftake and flosreed. 
which;, for the olFence, was rather a light punifhment. 

Heriger ilium 
juffn ad palum 
loris ligar'iy 
Jcopijque cedi, 
Jermone duro 
hunc arguendo. 

Thefe lines will ferve as a fpecimen of the popular Latin verfe in which 
thefe monkiili after-dinner ftories were written ; but the mofl: remarkable 
of thefe early parodies on religious fabjefts, is one which may be defcribed 
as the fupper of the faints j its title is fimply Ccena. Jt is falfely afcribed 
to St. Cyprian, who lived in the third centuryj but it is as old as the tenth 
century, as a copy was printed by profeffor Endlicher from a manufcript 
of that period at Vienna. It was fo popular, that it is found and known 
to have exifted in ditferent forms in verfe and in profe. It is a sort of 
drollery, founded upon the wedding feaft at which the Saviour changed 
water into wine, though that miracle is not at all introduced into it. It 
was a great king of the Eaft, named Zoel, who held his nuptial feaft at 
Cana of Galilee. The perfonages invited are all fcriptural, beginning with 
Adam. Before the feaft, they wafh in the river Jordan, and the number 
of the guefts was fo great, that feats could not be provided for them, 
and they took their places as they could. Adam took the firft place, and 
feated himfelf in the middle of the affembly, and next to him Eve fat 
upon leaves {fuper folia), — fig-leaves, we may fuppofe. Cain fat on a 
plough, Abe] on a milk-pail, Noah on an ark, Japhet on tiles, Abraham 
on a tree, Ifaac on an altar. Lot near the door, and fo with a long lift of 
others. Two were obliged to ftand — Paul, who bore it patiently, and 
Efau, who grumbled — while Job lamented bitterly becaufe he was obliged 
to fit on a dunghill. Mofes, and others, who came late, were obliged to 
find feats out of doors. When the king faw that all his guefts had arrived, 
he took them into his wardrobe, and there, in the fpirit of mediaeval 
generofity, diftributed to them drefles, which had all fome burlefque 
allufion to their particular characters. Before they were allowed to fit 

in Literature and Art. 4' 

down to the feaft, they were obliged to go through other ceremonies, 
vhich, as well as the eating, are defcribed in the lame %le of cari- 
cature. The wines, of which there was great variety, were fer\ed to 
the guelb with the fame allufions to their individual charaders ; but 
fome of liiem complained that they were badly mixed, although Jonah was 
the butler. In the fame manner are defcribed the proceedings which 
followed the dinner, the walhing of hands, and the delTert, to the 
latter of which Adam contributed apples, Samfon honey j while David 
played on the harp and Mary on the tabor; Judith led the round dance; 
Jubal played on the pfalter; Afael fung fongs, and HerodiaS^afted the 
part of the dancing-girl : — 

Tunc Adam f>oma min'ijirat, Samjon faw dulda, 
Ddi'id cytharum percujfit, et Maria tympana, 
Judith choreas ducebat, et Jubal fjalterta. 
Ajael metra canebat, jaltabat Herodias. 

Mambres entertained the company with his magical performances; and- 
the other incidents of a mediaeval feftival followed, throughout which the 
fame tone of burlefque is continued; and fo the ftory continues, to the 
end.* We (hall find thefe incipient forms of mediaeval comic literature 
largely developed as we go on. 

The period between antiquity and the middle ages was one of fuch 
great and general deftrudion, that the gulf between ancient and mediaeval 
art feems to us greater and more abrupt than it really was. The want 
of monuments, no doubt, prevents our feeing the gradual change of one 
into the other, but neverthelefs enough of fafts remain to convince us 
that it was not a fudden change. It is now indeed generally underftood 
that the knowledge and practice of the arts and manufadures of the 
Romans were handed onward from m;ifter tc pupil after the empire had 
fallen; and this took place efpecially in the towns, fo that lli'j workman- 

• The text of this singular composition, w it h a full nccoiint of flu- various forms 
in which it published, will tie found in M. du A16rir.s " Po^vics Populaircs 
L2.riA«s antirieurcs au douzieiiit siwlc," p. 193. 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

fhip which had been declining in charafter during the later periods of 
the empire, only continued in the courfe of degradation afterwards. 
Thus, in the firft Chriftian edifices, the builders who were employed, or 
at leaft many of them, muft have been pagans, and they would follow 
iheir old models of ornamentation, introducing the fame grotefque 

No. 25. Saturn De-vouring hh Child. 

figures, the fame mafks and monftrous faces, and even fometimes the 
fame fubjefts from the old mythology, to which they had been accufiomed. 
It is to be obferved, too, that this kind of iconographical ornamentation 
had been encroaching more and more upon the old architeftural purity 
during the latter ages of the empire, and that it was employed more 
profufely in the later works, from which this tafte was transferred to t^^e 

in Literature and Art, 40 

ecclefiaftical and to the domcltic architedure of the middle aees. After 
tlie workmen themfelves had become Chrillians, they Hill found pagan 
emblems and figures in their models, and Hill went on imitating them, 
fometimes merely copying, and at others turning them to caricature or 
burlefque. And this tendency contmued fo long, that, at a much later 
date, where there ftill exifted remains of Roman buildings, the mediaeval 
architects adopted them as models, and did not hcliiate to copy the 
fculpture, although it might be evidently pagan in charader. The 
accompanying cut (No. 25) reprefents a bracket in the church of Mont 
JMajour, near Nifmes, built in the tenth century. The fubjedt is a 
monfirous head eating a child, and we can hardly doubt that it was really 
uUended for a caricature on Saturn devouring one of his children. 

Sometimes the mediaeval fculptors miftook the emblematical defigns 
of the Romans, and mifapplied them, and gave an allegorical meaning to 
that which was not intended to be emblematical or allegorical, until the 
fubje6t> themfelves became extremely confufed. They readily employed 
that clals of parody of the ancients in which animals were reprefented 
j)erforming the a6tions of men, and they had a great tafte tor monfters 
of every defcription, efpecially thofe which were made up of portions of 
incongruous animals joined together, in contradi6tion to the precept q{ 
Horace : — • 

Humano capit'i cer-vicem pilior equinam 

Jungereji "velit, tt -varias inducere plumaSy 

Undique collatis memiris, ut turpiter atrum 

Dcjinct in pijcem t.ulier formofa Juperne f 

ISfieciatum admijjl r.(um tenealis, amici ? 

The mediaeval architects loved fuch rejjrefentations, always and in all 
parts, and exa»/iples are abundant. At Ccjmo, in Italy, liiere is a very 
ancient and remarkable church dedicated to San Fedele (Saint Fidelis) ; it 
has been confidered to be of fo early a date as the fifth century. The 
fculptures that adorn the doorway, which is triaiigiilar-lieadcd, are 
' I'pecially inttrcfiing. On one of thefe, reprefeiUed in our cut No. 26, 
Ml a con)partment to the left, appears a figure of an angel, liu'Jing in one 
hand a dwarf figure, probably intended for a child, by a lock ol his hair, 


No. 26. St u/^ lure from S^in Fedele, at C'jmo. 

Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefqite. 51 

and with the other hand dh-e6linsf his attention to a feated tio-ure in the 
compartment below. This hitter figure has apparently the head of a 
llieep, and as the head is furrounded with a hirge nimbus, and the right hand 
is held out in the attitude of benedidion, it may be intended to reprefent 
the Lamb. This perfonage is feated on fomething which is difficult to make 
out, but which looks fomewhat like a crab-fith. The boy in the com- 
partment above carries a large bafin in his arms. The adjoining compart- 
nifut to the right contains the reprefentation of a conflidt between a 
dragon, a winged ferpent, and a winged fox. On the opposite fide of the 
door, two winged mongers are reprefented devouring a lamb's head. I 
owe the drawing from which this and the preceding engraving were made 
to my friend Mr. John Robinfon, the archite6t, who made the Iketches 
while travelling with the medal of the Royal Academy. Figures of 
dragons, as ornaments, were great favourites with the peoples of the 
Teutonic race ; they were creatures intimately wrapped up in their 
national mytholog)' and romance, and they are found on all their artillic 
monuments mingled together in grotefque forms and groups. When the 
Anglo-Saxons began to ornament their books, the dragon was continually 
introduced for ornamental borders and in forming initial letters. One of 
the latter, from an Anglo-Saxon manufcript of the tenth century (the 
well-known manufcript of Caedmon, where it is given as an initial V), is 
reprefented in our cut on the next page, No. 27. 

Caricature and burlefque are naturally intended to be heard and feen 
publicly, and would therefore be figured on fuch monuments as were 
moft expofed to popular gaze. Such was the cafe, in the earlier periods 
of the middle ages, chiefly with ecclefiallical buildings, which explains 
how they became the grand receptacles of this clals of Art. We have 
few traces of what may be termed comic literature among our Anglo- 
.xon forefathers, but this is fully explained by the circumfiance that 
very little of the popular Anglo-Saxon literature has been pnlirvrd. In 
their fcftive hours the Anglo-Saxons fecm to li;ive cl])ecially amufed 
themfelves in boafling of what they had done, and what tiny could do; 
and thefe boafiii were perhaps often of a burlef(jue character, like the 
^nli (\l tJie French and Anglo-Norman romancers of a later date, or lb 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

extravagant as to produce laughter. The chieftains appear alfo to have 
encouraged men who could make jokes, and fatirife and caricature others ; 
for the company of fuch men feems to have been cheriflied, and they are 
not unfrequently introduced in the ftories. Such a perfonage, as I have 
remarked before, is Hunferth in Beowulf j fuch was the Sir Kay of the 
later Arthurian romances ; and fuch too was the Norman minftrel in the 
hiftory of Hereward, who amufed the Norman foldiers at their feafts by 
mimicry of the manners of their Anglo-Saxon opponents. The too 
perfonal fatire of thefe wits often led to quarrels, which ended in 

No, 27. Anglo-Saxon Dragons. 

fanguinary brawls. The Anglo-Saxon love of caricature is fhown largely 
in their proper names, which were moftly fignificant of perfonal qualities 
their parents hoped they would pofTefs ; and in thefe we remark the 
pronenefs of the Teutonic race, as well as the peoples of antiquity, to 
reprefent thefe qualities by the animals fuppofed to poffefs them, the 
animals moft popular being the wolf and the bear. But it is not to be 
expefted that the hopes of the parents in giving the name would always 
be fulfilled, and it is not an uncommon thing to find individuals loling 
their original names to receive in their place nicknames, or names which 

/// Liter at we and Art. 5 3 

probably exprelVed qualities they did poffels, and which were given to 
them by tlieir acquaintances. Thefe names, though often not very 
complimentary, and even fometimes very much the contrary, completely 
luperleded the original name, and were even accepted by the individuals 
to whom they applied. The fecond names were indeed To generally 
acknowledged, that they were ufed in figning legal documents. An 
Anglo-Saxon abbefs of rank, whofe real name was Hrodwaru, but who 
was known univerfally by the name Bugga, the Bug, wrote this latter 
name in ligning charters. We can hardly doubt that fuch a name was 
intended to afcribe to her qualities of a not agreeable chara6ler, and 
ver)' dilferent to thofe implied by the original name, which perhaps 
meant, a dweller in heaven. Another lady gained the name of the 
Crow. It is well known that furnames did not come into ufe till long 
after the Anglo-Saxon period, but appellatives, like thefe nicknames, 
were often added to the name for the purpofe of diftin6tion, or at 
pleafure, and thefe, too, being given by other people, were frequently 
fatirical. Thus, one Harold, for his fvviftnefs, was called Hare-foot ; a 
well-known Edith, for the elegant form of her neck, was called Swan- 
neck ; and a Thurcyl, for a form of his head, which can hardly have been 
called beautiful, was named Mare's-head. Among many other names, 
quite as fatirical a^ tlie laft-mentioned, we find Flat-nofe, the Uglv 
Squint-eye, Hawk-nofe, &c. 

Of Anglo-Saxon fculpture we have little left, but we have a few 
illuminated manufcripts which prcfcnt here and there an attempt at 
caricature, though they are rare. It would feem, however, that the two 
favourite fubje6ts of caricature among the Anglo-Saxons were the clergy 
and the evil one. We have abundant evidence that, from the eighth 
century downwards, neither the Anglo-Saxon clergy nor the Anglo- 
Saxon nuns were generally obje6ls r)f much refpeft among the people ; 
and their chara(!-ter and the manner of their lives fufKcicntly accoiuit fur 
it. Perhaps, alfo, it was increafed by the hollility between the old clergy 
and the new reformers of Dunllan's party, who would no doubt 
caricature each other. A manufcript i)falter, in the Univerfity Library, 
Cambridge (Ff. 1, 23), of the Anglo-Saxon period, and appauntiy of the 


HiJio?-y of Caricature aitd Grotefque 

tenth century, illuftrated with rather grotefque initial letters, furnifhes us 
with the figure of a jolly Anglo-Saxon monk, given in our cut No. 28, 
and which it is hardly neceflary to Hate reprefents the letter Q. As we 
proceed, we lliall fee the clergy continuing to furnifh a butt for the Ihafts 
of fatire through all the middle ages. 

The inclination to give to the demons (the middle ages always looked 
upon them as innumerable) monftrous forms, which ealily ran into the 


No. 28. A Jolly Monk. 

grotefque, was natural, and the painter, indeed, prided himfelf on drawing 
them ugly ; but he was no doubt influenced in fo generally caricaturing 
them, by mixing up this idea with thofe furniflied by the popular fuper- 
ftitions of the Teutonic race, who believed in multitudes of fpirits, repre- 
ftntatives of the ancient fatyrs, who were of a playfully malicious 
defcription, and went about plaguing mankind in a very droll manner, 
and fometimes appeared to them in equally droll forms. They were the 
Pucks and Robin Goodfdlows of later times 5 but the Chriftian miffionaries 
to the weft taught their converts to believe, and probably believed them- 
felves, that all thefe imaginary beings were real demons, who wandered 
over the earth for people's ruin and deftrudion. Thus the grotefque 
imagination of the converted people was introduced into the Chriftian 
lyftem of demonology. It is a part of the fubje6t to which we ihall 
return ui our next chapter 3 but I will here introduce two examples of 

in Literature and Art. 


luc Aiiglu-Saxou demons. To explain tlie rirti ot ihele, it will be 
neceirary to rtaie that, according to the niediaival notions, Satan, the arch 
demon, who had fallen from heaven for his rebellion againil the Almighty, 
was not a free agent who went about tempting mankind, but he was 
himfelf plunged in the abyfs, where he was held in bonds, and tormented 
by the demons who peopled the internal regions, and alio iliued thence 
to feek their prey upon God's newelt creation, the earth. The hiftory of 
Satan's fall, and the defcription of his pofition (No. 29), form the fubjed 
of the earlier part of the Anglo-Saxon poetry afcribed to Caedmon, 
and it is one of the illuminations to the manufcript of Caedmon (which 
is now prefen'ed at Oxford), which has furnilhed us with our cut. 

No. 29. Satan in Bonds. 

reprefenting Satan in h.s bonds. The fienil is here pidured bcniiid to 
flakes, over what appears to be a gridiron, while one of the demons, 
rifing out of a fiery furnace, and holding in his hand an inltrument of 
punidiment, feems to be exulting over him, and at the fame time urging 
on the troop of grotefque imps who are fwarming round and tormenting 
tljcir vidim. The next cut. No. 30, is alfo taken Irom an Anglo-Saxon 


Hiflory of Caricature and Grofefqiie 

manuicript, preferved in the Britifh Mufeum (MS. Cotton., Tiberius, 
C. vi.), which belongs to the earlier half of the eleventh century, and 
contains a copy of the pfalter. It gives us the Anglo-Saxon notion of the 
demon under another form, equally charaderiftic, wearing only a girdle 

of flames, but in this cafe the efpecial Angularity 
of the defign confifts in the eyes in the fiend's 


Another circumftance had no doubt an in- 
fluence on the mediaeval talle for grotefque and 
caricature — the natural rudenefs of early mediaeval 
art. The wr-'t^rs of antiquity tell us of a remote 
period of Grecian art when it was neceflary to 
write under each figure of a pifture the name of 
what it was intended to reprefent, in order to 
make the whole intelligible — " this is a horfe," 
"this is a man," "this is a tree." Without being 
quite fo rude as this, the early mediaeval artifts, 
through Ignorance of perfpe6live, want of know- 
ledge of proportion, and of Ikill in drawing, 
found great difficulty in reprefenting a fcene in 
which there was more than one figure, and in 
which it was necelfary to diftinguifli them from 
each other; and they were continually trying to 
help themfeives by adopting conventional torms 
or conventional pofitions, and by fometimes adding 
fymbols that did not exatlly reprefent what they 
meant. The exaggeration in form confifted 
chiefly in giving an undue prominence to fome charafteriftic feature, 
which anfwered the fame purpofe as the Anglo-Saxon nickname and dif- 
tin6tive name, and which is, in fiift, one of the firft principles of all cari- 
cature. Conventional pofitions partook much of the charader of 
conventional forms, but gave fiill greater room for grotefque. Thus the 
veryfirll charafteriftics of mediaeval art implied the exifience of caricature, 
and no. doubt led to the tafie for the grotefque. The effedt of this 

No. 30. Satan. 

in Literature and Art. 


influence is apparent everywhere, and in innumerable cafes ferious 
pictures ot the gravell and molt important lubjeds are (imply and 
ablblutely caricatures. Anglo-Saxon art ran much into this %le, and 
is often very grotefque in charatSler. The tirll example we give 
(cut Xo. 31) is taken from one of the illullrations to Alfric's Anglo- 

No. 31. T/it Temptation. 

Saxon vedion of the Pentateuch, in the profufely illuminated manufcript 
in the Bnti(h Mufeum (MS. Cotton., Claudius B iv.), which was written 
at the end of the tenth, or beginning of the eleventh, century. It 
reprefents the temptation and fall of man; and the fubjedt is treated, as 
will be feen, in a rather grotefque manner. Eve is evidently dictating 
to her hulband, who, in obeying her, Ihows a mixture of eagernefs and 
trepidation Adam is no lefs evidently going to fwallow the apple whole, 
which is, perhaps, in accordance with the mediaeval legend, according to 
which the fruit ftuck in his throat. It is hardly necelfary to remark that 
the tree is entirely a conventional one; and it would be (litliciiit to 
imagiae how it came to bear apples at all. 1 he mediaeval artills were 
\tremely unlkilful in drawing trees; to tlul'e they iifiKiIly gave the 
forms of cabbages, or fome fuch plants, of which the form was lim|)lc, or 
often of a mere bunch of leaves. Our next example (cut No. 32) is alfo 


Hijlojy of Caricature and Grotefque 

Anglo-Saxon, and is furniflied by the manufcript in the Britifli Muleum 
aheady mentioned (MS. Cotton., Tiberius C vi.) It probably repreients 
young David killing the lion, and is remarkable not only for the ftrange 
pofture and bad proportions of the man, but for the tranquillity of the 
animal and the exaggerated and violent action of its flayer. This is very 
commonly the cafe in the mediaeval drawings and fculptures, the artifts 
apparently polfefling far lefs fkill in reprefenting aftion in an animal than 
in man, and therefore more rarely attempting it. Thefe illullrations are 

No. 32. Da-vid and the Lion. 

both taken from illuminated manufcripts. The two which follow are 
furnifhed by fculptures, and are of a rather later date than the preceding. 
The abbey of St. George of Bofcherville, in the diocefe of Auxerre (in 
Normandy)', was founded by Ralph de Tancarville, one of the minifters 
of William the Conqueror, and therefore in the latter half of the eleventh 
century. A hiflory of this religious houfe was publillied by a clever local 
antiquary — M. Achille Deville — from whofe work we take our cut No. 2)3) 

in Literature and Art. 


one of a few rude icuipuirLs on the abbey church, which no doubt 
belonged to tiie original fabric. It is not dirticuh to recognife the fubjed 
as Joleph taking the Virgin Mary with her Child into Egypt ; but there 
IS fomelhing exceedingly droll m the unintentional caricature of the 
faces, as well as in the whole delign. The Virgin Mary appears without 
a nimbus, while the nimbus of the Infant Jefus is made to look very like 
a bonnet. It may be remarked that this fubjecl of the Hight into Egypi 
i-> by no means an uncommon one in mediaeval art ; and a drawing of 

No. 33. 2'Jit Flight into Egyft. 

the fame fubjeft, copied in my " Eliltory of Domeltic Manners and 
Si-ntiments " (p. 11.5), prefents a remarkable illuilration of the contrail 
i the ikill of a Norman fculptor and of an almolt contemporary Anglo- 
Norman illuminator. Our cut alfo furniihes us with evidence of the 
error of the old o|)inion that ladies rode allride in the middle ages. Even 
I !ie, who by his llyle of art mu(l have been an obfcure local carver on 
ftone, when he reprefented a female on liorfeback, placed her in the 
polition which has always been confidered fuitable to the fex. 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

For the drawing of the other fculpture to which I allude, I am 
indebted to Mr. Robinfon. It is one of the fubjefts carved on the 
fagade of the church of St. Gilles, near Nifmes, and is a work of the 
twelfth century. It appears to reprefent the young David flaying 
the giant Goliah, the latter fully armed in fcale armour, and with fliield 

No. 34. Devid and Goliah. 

and fpear, like a Norman knight ; while to David the artifl has given a 
figure which is feminine in its forms. What we might take at firft iight 
for a balket of apples, appears to be meant for a fupply of ftones for the 
fling which the young hero carries fufpended from his neck. He has 
flain the giant with one of thefe, and is cutting off his head with his own 

in Literature and Art. 6 1 







AS I have already flated in the laft chapter, there can be no doubt that 
the whole I) ftem of the deaionology of the middle ages was derived 
from the older pagan mythology. The demons of the nionkilh legends 
were limply the elves and hobgoblins of our forefathers, who haunted 
woods, and fields, and waters, and delighted in milleading or plaguing 
mankind, though their mifchief was uluallyof a rather mirthful character. 
They were reprefented in claflical mythology by the fauns and fatyrs 
who had, as we have feen, much to do with the birth of comic literature 
among the Greeks and Romans ; but thefe Teutonic elves were more 
ubiquitous than the fatyrs, as they even haunted men's houfes, and played 
tricks, not only of a mifchievous, but of a very famihar chara6ter. The 
Chriftian clergy did not look upon the perfonages of the popular fuper- 
ftilions as fabulous beings, but they taught that they were all diabolical, 
and that they were fo many agents of the evil one, conftantly emj)loyed 
in enticing and entrapping mankind. Hence, in the mediaeval legends, 
we frequently find demons prefenting themfelves under ludicrous forms 
or in ludicrous fituations j or performing ads, fuch as eating and drinking, 
which are not in accordance with their real chara6terj or at times even 
letting themfelves be (julwitled or eiitrapped by mortals in a very 
undignified manner. Although they afibmed any form tluy piialld, 
ilieir natural form was remarkable chiefly for being extremely ugly; one 
of them, which appeared in a wild wood, is defcribcd by Giraldus 
Cambrenfis, who wrote at the end of the twellth century, as being hairy, 


Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

lliaggy, and rough, and monftroufly deformed.* According to a mediaeval 
ftory, which was told in different forms, a great man's cellar was once 
haunted by tliefe demons, who drank all his wine, while the owner was 
totally at a lofs to account for its rapid difappearance. After many 
unfuccefsful attempts to difcover the depredators, fome one, probably 
fufpefting the truth, fuggefted that he fliould mark one of the barrels 
with holy water, and next morning a demon, much refembling the 
defcription given by Giraldus, was found ftuck fall to the barrel. It is 
told alfo of Edward the Confeffor, that he once went to fee the tribute 


No. 35. The Demon of the Treajure, 

called the Danegeld, and it was fhown to him all packed up in great 
barrels ready to be fent away — for this appears to have been the ufual 
mode of tranfporting large quantities of money. The faintly king had 
the faculty of being able to fee fpiritual beings — a fort of fpiritual fecond- 

* " Formam quandam viliosam, liispidam, et hirxutam, adeoque enoimiter 
deformem." Girald. Carnb., Itiner. Camb., lib. i, c. 5. 

in Li t em f lire and Art. 63 

fight — and he beheld leated on the largell barrel, a devil, who was " black 
and hideous." 

Vit un deabU faer defus 

Le trejor, mir et /:idus. — Life of S. Etlwanl, I. OU. 

An early illuminator, in a manufcnpt preferved in the library of Trinity 
College, Cambridge (MS. Trin. Col., B x. 2), ha^ left us a pitlorial 
reprefentaiion of this fcene, from which I copy his notion of the form of 
the demon in cut No. ^^. The general idea is evidently taken from the 
tigure of the goat, and the relationlhip between the demon and the 
clallical fatyr is very evident. 

Uglinefs was an elfential charatleriftic of the demons, and, moreover, 
their features have ufually a mirthful caft, as though they greatly enjoyed 
their occupation. There is a mediaeval ftory of a young monk, who was 
facrillan to an abbey, and had the directions of the building and orna- 
mentation. The carvers of Hone were making admirable reprefentations 
of hell and paradife, in the former of which the demons "feemed to take 
great delight in well tormenting their vi6tims " — 

Qui far jemhlant fe dell toil 
En ce que bien les tormentolt. 

The facriftan, who watched the fculptors every day, was at laft moved by 
pious zeal to try and imitate them, and he fet to work to make a devil 
himfelf, with fuch fuccefs, that his fiend was fo black and ugly that 
nobody could look at it without terror. 

Tant qu'un de'able a fere empriji ; 
Si i mi ft fa poine et fa cure, 
Que la forme fu fi ojcure 
Et ft /aide, que cil doutaft 
Slut entre deus oi/z Fe/gardaft. 

The facriftan, encouraged by his fuccefs — for it muft be underrtood that 
his art was a fudden infpiration (as he had not been an artift before) — 
continued his work till it was completed, and then " it was fo horrii)le 
and ib ugly, that all who faw it affirmed upon their oaths that they had 

64 Hiftory of Caricature and GrotefqUe 

never feen fo ugly a figure either in fculpture or in painting, or one which 
had fo repulfive an appearance, or a devil which was a better likenefs 
than the one this monk had made for them " — 

81 horribles fu et Ji lez, 

S^ue trejiou-z eels que le 'ueoient 

Seur leur Jerement afermoient 

Conques mes Ji laide figure, 

Ne en tallle ne en peinture, 

N^a-voient a nul jor -veue, 

S^ui Ji euji laide -veue, 

Ne deable m'lex contrefet 

^e cil monies leur a-voh fet. — Meon's Fabliaux, torn. ii. p. 414. 

The demon hirafelf now took otience at the affront which had been put 
upon him, and appearing the night following to the facriftan, reproached 
him with having made him fo ugly, and enjoined him to break the 
fculpture, and execute another reprefenting him better looking, on pain 
of very fevere puniihmentj but, although this vifit was repeated thrice, 
the pious monk refufed to comply. The evil one now began to work in 
another way, and, by his cunning, he drew the facriftan into a difgraceful 
amour with a lady of the neighbourhood, and they plotted not only to 
elope together by night, but to rob the monaftery of its treafure, which 
was of courfe in the keeping of the facriftan. They were difcovered, and 
caught in their flight, laden with the treafure, and the unfaithful facriftan 
was thrown into prifon. The fiend now appeared to him, and promifed 
to clear him out of all his trouble on the mere condition that he ihould 
break his ugly ftatue, and make another reprefenting him as looking 
handfome — a bargain to which the facriftan acceded without further 
hefitation. It would thus appear that the demons did not like to be 
reprefented ugly. In this cafe, the fiend immediately took the form and 
place of the facriftan, while the latter went to his bed as if nothing had 
happened. When the other monks found him there next morning, and 
heard him difclaim all knowledge of the robbery or of the prifon, they 
hurried to the latter place, and found the devil in chains-, who, when they 
attempted to exorcife him^ behaved in a very turbulent manner, and 

in Literature and Art. 


difappeared from their fight. The monks believed that it was all a 
deception of the evil one, while the facrirtan, who was not inclined to 
brave his difpleafure a fecond time, performed faithfully his part of the 
c"ontra6t, and made a devil who did not look ugly. In another verfion of 
the llory, however, it ends differently. After the third warning, the 
monk went in defiance of the devil, and made his piAure uglier than 
ever; in revenge for which the demon came unexpectedly and broke the 
ladder on which he was mounted at his work, whereby the monk would 
undoubtedly have been killed. But the Virgin, to whom he was much 
devoted, came to his afliliance, and, feizing him with her hand, and 
holding him in the air, difappointed the devil of his purpofe. It is this 
latter denouement which is reprefented in the cut No. '^6, taken from the 

No. 36. Tht Pious ScuJptor. 

celebrated manufcript in the Britirti Mufeum known as " Queen Mary's 
Pfalter " (MS. Keg. 1 B vii.). The two demons employed here prefcnt, 
well defined, the air of mirthful jfjllity which was evidently derived trum 
the popular hobg(jblins. 

There was another popular ftory, which alfo was told under feveral 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

forms. The old Norman hiflorians tell it of their duke Richard Sanf- 
Peur. There was a monk of the abbey of St. Ouen, who alfo held the 
office of facriftan, but, neglefting the duties of his pofition, entered into 
an intrigue with a lady who dwelt in the neighbourhood, and was accui- 
tomed at night to leave the abbey fecretly, and repair to her. His place 
as facriftan enabled him thus to leave the houfe unknown to the other 
brethren. On his way, he had to pafs the little river Robec, by means 
of a plank or wooden bridge, and one night the demons, who had been 
watching him on his errand of fin, caught him on the bridge, and threw 
him over into the water, where he was drowned. One devil feized his 
foul, and would have carried it away, but an angel came to claim him on 
account of his good a6tions, and the difpute ran fo high, that duke 
Richard, whofe piety was as great as his courage, was called in to decide 
it. The fame manufcript from which our lafi: cut was taken has furnillied 
our cut No. 37, which reprefents two demons tripping up the monk, and 

No. 37. The Monk's D'ljafter. 

throwing him very unceremonioufly into the river. The body of one of 
the demons here affumes the form of an animal, inftead of taking, 
like the other, that of a man, and he is, moreover, furniflied with a 
dragon's wings. There was one verfion of this ftory, in which it found 
its place among the legends of the Virgin Mary, inllead of thofe of duke 
Richard. The monk, in fpite of his faiUngs, had been a conftant 

in Literature and Art. 


worfhipper of the Virgin, and, as he was falling from the bridge into the 
river, ihe ftepped forward to prote6t him from his perfecutors, and taking 
hold of him with her hand, faved him from death. One of the compart- 
ments of the rather early wall-paintings in Winchefter Cathedral reprefents 
the fcene according to this verlion of the ftory, and is copied in our cut 
No. 38. The tiends here take more fantallic lliapes than we have 

bin. 38. The Dimotii Dijuj.pointcd. 

previouHy feen given to them. They remind us already of the infinitely 
varied grotefque forms which the painters of the age of the Renaillance 
crowded together in fuch fubj(.-6ts as " The Temptation of St. Anthony." 
In fa6t these ftrange notions of the forms of the demons were not only 
jjrefened through the whole period of the middle ages, but are Hill 
hardly extinft. 'J'hc-y appear in almoft exaggerated forms in the illullrations 
iij books of a popular religious chara6ter which appeared in tlu' hill ages 
I I printing. I may quote, as an example, one of the cuts of an early and 
\ery rare block-book, entitled the Jrs Moriendi, or "Art of Joying," or, 
in -A fecond title, De Tcntat'umibus Morientium, on tin- tiiuptations to 
which dying men are expofcd. The fcene, of wliich a j)art is given in 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

the annexed cut (No. 39), is in the room of the dying man, whofe bed is fur- 
rounded by three demons, who are come to tempt him, while his relatives 
of both fexes are looking on quite unconfcious of their prefence. The 
figures of thefe demons are particularly grotefque, and their ugly features 
betray a degree of vulgar cunning which adds not a little to this eff'e6l. 
The one leaning over the dying man fuggells to him the words expreffed 
in the label iffuing from his mouth, Provideas amicis, " provide for your 
friends ;" while the one whofe head appears to the left whifpers to him, 

yi Media-val Death- be J, 

Yntcnde thefauro, " think of your treafure." The dying man feems 
grievoufly perplexed with the various thoughts thus fuggefted to him. 

Why did the mediaeval Chriftians think it neceffary to make the devils 
black and ugly ? The tirfl reply to this queftion which prefents itfelf is, 
that the charaderiftics intended to be reprefented were the blacknels and 
uglinefs of fin. This,, however, is only partially the explanation of the 
fa6t ; for there can be no doubt that the notion was a popular one, and 
' that it had previoufly exifted in the popular mythology j and, as has been 
already remarked, the uglinefs exhibited by them is a vulgar, mirthful 
uglinefs, which makes vou laugh inftead of Ihudder. Another fcene. 

i?i Literature and Art. 


iVom the interefting drawings at the foot of the jKigcs in " Queen Mary's 
rfalter," is given in our cut No. 40. It reprefents that mort popular 
of mediaeval piftures, and, at the fame time, moft remarkable of 
literal interpretations, hell mouth. The entrance to the infernal regions 
was always reprefented pidorially as the mouth of a monllrous animal, 
where the demons appeared leaving and returning. Here they are feen 
bringing the linful fouls to their laft deliinaticn, and it cannot be denied 
that they are doing the work right merrily and jovially. In our cut 

A'l;. 40. Condemned Souls carried to their Place of Puni(hment. 

1 No. 41, from the manufcript in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, 
which furnifhed a former fubje6t, three demons, who appear to be the 

I guardians of'the entrance to the regions below — for it is upon the brow 
above the monOrous mouth that tliey are ftanding — prefent varieties of 
the diabolical form. I'he one in the middle is the moft remarkable, for 
lie has wings not only on his lliouldcrs, but alfo on his knees and heels. 
All three have horns j in fact, the three fpecial chara<5teriftics of mediaval 
(li-mons were horns, hoofs — or, at leaft, the feet of beafts, — and tails, 
wliith fufficienily indicate the fource from which tlu; j)()pular notions of 
thefe beings were derived. In the cathedral of Treves, there is a mural 
painting by William of Cologne, a painter of the lifleentli- century, which 


Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

reprefents the entrance to the ihades, the monftrous mouth, with its 
keepers, in ftill more grotefque forms. Our cut No. 42 gives but a 
fmall portion of this pi6ture, in which the porter of the regions of punilli- 
ment is fitting aftride the fnout of the monftrous mouth, and is founding 
with a trumpet what may be fuppofed to be the call for thofe who are 
condemned. Another minftrel of the fame ftamp, fpurred, though not 
booted, fits aftride the tube of the trumpet, playing on the bagpipes ; and 
the found which iffues from the former inftrument is reprefented by a 
hoft of fmaller imps who are fcattering themfelves about. 

It muft not be fuppofed that, in fubjeds like thefe, the drollery of the 
fcene was accidental ; but, on the contrary, the mediaeval artifts and 

No. 41. The Guardians of Hell Mouth. 

popular writers gave them this chara6ter purpofely. The demons and 
the executioners — the latter of whom were called in Latin tortores, and 
in popular old Englifli phrafeology the " tormentours " — were the comic 
charafters of the time, and the fcenes in the old myfteries or religious 
plays in which they were introduced were the comic fcent's, or farce, of 

iti Literature and Art. 

the piece. The love of burlefque and caricature was, indeed, fo deeply- 
planted in the popular mind, that it was found neceffary to introduce 
them even in pious works, in which fuch fcenes as the flaughter of the 
innocents, where the "knights" and the women abufed each other in 
vulgar language, the treatment of Chrill at the time of His trial, fome 
pans ot the fcene of the crucifixion, and the day of judgment, were 
ellentially comic. The laft of thefe fubjefts, efpecially, was a fcene of 
mirth, becaufe it often conlilled throughout of a coarfe fatire on the vices 

No 4Z. The Trumpeter of E-vll. 

of the age, efpecially on thofe which were moft obnoxious to the populace, 
fuch as the pride and vanity of the higher ranks, and the extortions and 
frauds of ufurers, bakers, taverners, and others. In the play of "Judiiium," 
or the day of doom, in the " Towneley Mylleries," one of the earlitlt 
collections of myfteries in the Englifli language, the whole converlation 
among the demons is exadly of that joking kind which we might exjieft 
from their countenances in the pictures. When one of (hem api)ears 
carrying a bag full of dilferent olVences, another, his companion, is lb 
joyful at this circumftance, that he fays it makes him laugh till he is out 

72 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

of breath, or, in other words, till he is ready to burft ; and, while alking 
if anger be not among the fins he had colle£ted, propofes to treat him 
with fomething to drink — 

Primus daemon. Teaf%e, I pray the, be ft'ille ; / laghe that I kynke. 
Is oghte ire in thi hille ? and then Jalle thou drynke. — Towneley Mysteries, p. 309. 

And in the continuation of the converfation, one telling of the events 
which had preceded the announcement of Doomfday says, rather jeeringly, 
and fomewhat exultingly, " Souls came fo thick now of late to hell, that 
our porter at hell gate is ever held fo clofe at work, up early and down 
late, that he never refts" — 

Saules cam Jo thyk noiu late unto helle. 

As, e-uer 
Oure porter at helle gate 
Is halden Jo Jirate, 
Up erly and doivne late. 

He ryjlys never. — lb., p. 314. 

With fuch popular notions on the fubjedl, we have no reafon to be 
furprifed that the artifts of the middle ages frequently chofe the figures of 
demons as objefts on which to exercife their Ikill in burlefque and carica- 
ture, that they often introduced grotefque figures of their heads and bodies 
in the fculptured ornamentation of building, and that they prefented them 
in ludicrous fituations and attitudes in their pidures. They are often 
brought in as fecondary adors in a pidure in a very Angular manner, of 
which an excellent example is furnifhed by the beautifully illuminated 
manufcript known as " Queen Mary's Pfalter," which is copied in our cut 
No. 4,3. Nothing is more certain than that in this inllance the intention 
of the artill was perfeftly ferious. Eve, under the influence of a rather 
Angularly formed ferpent, having the head of a beautiful woman and the 
body of a dragon, is plucking the apples and oflfering them to Adam, who 
is pieparing to eat one, with evident hefitation and reludance. But three 
demons, downright hobgoblins, appear as fecondary a6tors in the fcene, 
who exercife an influence upon the principals. One is patting Eve on 

in Literature and Art. 


the fhoulder, with an air of approval and encouragement, while a lecond, 
with wings, is urging on Adam, and apparently laughing at his appre- 
henfions; and a third, in a very ludicrous manner, is preventing him trom 
drawing back from the trial. 

In all the delineations of demons we have yet feen, the ludicrous is 
the fpirit which chiefly predominates, and in no one inrtance have we 
had a figure which is really demoniacal. The devils are droll but not 
frightful 3 they provoke laughter, or at leall excite a fmile, but they 

A^o. 43. ne Fall of Man. 

create no horror. Indeed, they torment their vidims fo good-humouredly, 
that we hardly feel for them. There is, however, one well-known 
inllance in which the mediaeval arlift has fliown himfelf fully fuccefsful 
in reprefenting the features of the fpirit of evil. On the parapet of the 
external gallery of the cathedral church of Notre Dame in Paris, there is 
a Hgure in Hone, of the ordinary ftature of a man, reprefenting the demon, 
apparently looking with falisfadion upon the inhabitarits of the city as 
they were everywhere indulging in lin and wickednels. We give a 
Iketth of this ligure in our cut No. 44. 'l'li<-" umnixed evil — horrible in 

74 Hijiory of Caricature and Grofefque 

its expreffion in this countenance — is marvelloully portrayed. It is an 
abfolute Mephiftophiles, carrying in his features a ftrange mixture of 
hateful qualities — malice^ pride, envy — in faft, all the deadly fins combined 
in one diabolical whole. 

No. 44. The Spirit of Ewl. 

in Literature and Ai :, 75 







THE people of the middle ages appear to have been great admirers 
of animals, to have obferved clofely their various chara6ters and 
peculiarities, and to have been fond oi domefticating them. They foon 
began to employ their peculiarities as means of fatirifing and caricaturing 
mankind ; and among the literature bequeathed to them by the Romans, 
they received no book more eagerly than the " Fables of ^fop," and 
the other colle6tions of fables which were publiihed under the empire. 
We find no traces of fables among the original literature of the German 
race ; but the tribes who took polTelhon of the Roman provinces no 
fooner became acquainted with the fables of the ancients, than they 
began to imitate them, and (lories in which animals a6ted the part of 
men were multiplied immenfely, and became a very important branch 
of mediaeval fiftion. 

Among the Teutonic peoples efpecially, thefe fables often afflimed very 
grotef(jue forms, and the fatire they convey is very amufing. One of the 
earliefl of thefe colleftions of original fables was compofed by an Engliih 
ecclefiallic named Odo de Cirington, who lived in the time of Henry H. 
and Richard I. In Odo's fables, we find the animals figuring under the 
fame popular names by which they were afterwards fo well known, fuch 
as Reynard for the fox, Ifengrin for the wolf, Teburg for the cat, and 
the like. Thus the fubje6l of one of them is " Ifengrin made Monk " 
{de IJiTi^Ttno monacho). "Once," we are told, " Ifengrin dcfired to be a 
monk. By dint of fervent fupplications, he obtained the confent of the 

76 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefcjue 

chapter, and received the tonfure, the cowl, and the other infignia of 
monachifm. At length they put him to fchool, and he was to learn the 
' Paternofter,' but he always replied, ' lamb ' {agnus) or 'ram' {arics). 
The monks taught him that he ought to look upon the crucifix and upon 
the facrament, but he ever direfted his eyes to the lambs and rams." The 
fable is droll enough, but the moral, or application is ftill more grotefque. 
"Such is the conduft of many of the monks, whofe only cry is 'aries,' 
that is, good wine, and who have their eyes always fixed on fat flelli and 
their platter ; whence the faying in Englilh — 

They thou the -vulf hore Though thou the hoary ivolf 

hod to frefte^ conj'ecrati to a priefi, 

they thou him to jkole jette thoufgh thou put him to fchool 

jalmes to /erne, to learn Pfalms, 

he-vere bet h'tje geres e-ver are his ears turned 

to the gro-ve grene,'"'' to the green groove. 

Thefe lines are in the alliterative verfe of the Anglo-Saxons, and fhow 
that fuch fables had already found their place in the popular poetry of the 
Englifh people. Another of thefe fables is entitled " Of the Beetle 
(faabo) and his Wife." "A beetle, flying through the land, palled 
among moft beautiful blooming trees, through orchards and among rcfes 
and lilies, in the moft lovely places, and at length threw himfelf upon a 
dunghill among the dung of horfes, and found there his wife, who alked 
him whence he came. And the beetle faid, 'I have flown all round the 
earth and through it ; I have feen the flowers of almonds, and lilies, and 
rofes, but I have feen no place fo pleafant as this,' pointing to the dung- 
hill." The application is equally droll with the former and equally un- 
vomplimentary to the religious part of the community. Odo de Cirington 
ells us that, " Thus many of the clergy, monks, and laymen liften to the 
lives of the fathers, pafs among the lilies of the virgins, among the rofes 
of the martyrs, and among the violets of the confefiors, yet nothing ever 
appears fo pleafant and agreeable as a ftrumpet, or the tavern, or a finging 
party, though it is but a flinking dunghill and congregation of finners." 

Popular fculpture and painting were but the tranllation of popular 
literature^ and nothing was more common to reprefent^ in pictures and 

in Literature and Art. yj 

carvings, than individual men under the forms of the animals who difplayed 
fimilar charatfters or limilar propenfities. Cunning, treachery, and 
intrigue were the prevailing vices of the middle ages, and they were thofe 
aUb of the fox, who hence became a favourite charaftcr in fatire. The 
vidory of craft over force always provoked mirth. The fabulifts, or, we 
fhould perhaps rather lay, the fatirifts, foon began to extend their canvas 
and enlarge their pidure, and, inflead of (ingle examples of fraud or 
injurtice, they introduced a variety of characters, not only foxes, but 
wolves, and iheep, and bears, with birds alfo, as the eagle, the cock, and 
the crow, and mixed them up together in long narratives, which thus 
formed general fatires on the vices of contemporary fociety. In this 
manner originated the celebrated romance of " Reynard the Fox," which 
in various forms, from the twelfth century to the eighteenth, has enjoyed 
a popularity which was granted probably to no other book. The plot of 
this remarkable fatire turns chiefly on the long flruggle between the 
brute force of Ifengrin the Wolf, poflefled only with a finall amount of 
intelligence, which is ealily deceived — under which chara6ter is prefented 
the powerful feudal baron — and the craftinefs of Reynard the Fox, who 
reprefents the intelligent portion of fociety, which had to hold its ground 
by its wits, and thefe were continually abufed to evil purpofes. Reynard 
is fwayed by a conftant impuUe to deceive and vidimife everybody, 
whether /riends or enemies, but efpecially his uncle Ifengrin. It was 
fomewhat the relationfliip between the ecclefiallical and baronial 
ariftocracy. Reynard was educated in the fchools, and intended for 
the clerical order ; and at different times he is reprefented as ading 
under the difguife of a prieft, of a monk, of a pilgrim, or even of a 
prelate of the church. Ihough frequently reduced to the greateft 
llraits by the power of Ifengrin, Reynard has generally the better of it 
in ihe end : he robs and defrauds Ifengrin continually, outrages his 
wife, who is half in alliance with him, and draws him into all forts of 
dangers and furterings, for which the hitter never fucceeds in obtaining 
juftice. The old fculptors and artills appear to have preferred exhibiting 
Reynard in his ecclefialtical difguifes, and in thefe he appears often in the 
ortiamentali(jn of mediaeval architettural fculpture, in wood-carvings, in 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

the illuminations of manufcripts, and in other obje6ts of art. The popular 
feeling againft the clergy was llrong in the middle ages, and no caricature 
was received with more favour than thofe which expofed the immorality 
or dillionelly of a monk or a prieft. Our cut No. 45 is taken from a 

fculpture in the church of Chrillchurch, in 
Hamplliire, for the drawing of which I am 
indebted to my friend, Mr. Llewellynn 
Jewitt. It reprefents Reynard m the pulpit 
preaching ; behind, or rather perhaps belide 
him, a diminutive cock ftands iipon a llool 
— in modern times we fhould be inclined 
to fay he was a6ling as clerk. Reynard's 
coftume confills merely of the eccleiiatlical 
hood or cowl. Such fubje6ts are frequently 
found on the carved feats, or mifereres, in 
the ftalls of the old cathedrals and collegiate 
churches. The painted glafs of the great 
window of the north crofs-aille of St. Martin's 
church in Leicefter, which was deftroyed in 
the laft century, reprefented the fox, in the 
chara6ler of an ecclefiaflic, preaching to a 
congregation of geefe, and addreffing them in the words — Tefiis eft mihi 
Deiis, qiiam cupiam vos omnes v'lfceribus meis (God is witnefs, how I 
dehre you all in my bowels), a parody on the words of the New 
Teflament.* Our cut No. 46 is taken from one of the mifereres in the 
church of St. Mary, at Beverley, in Yorklhire. Two foxes are reprefented 
ni the difguife of eccleliallics, each furnillied with a paftoral ftaff, and 
they appear to be receiving inftru6tions from a prelate or perfonage of 
rank — perhaps they are undertaking a pilgrimage of penance. But their 
fnicerity is rendered fomewhat doubtful by the gee(e concealed in their 

Ao. 45. The Fox in the Pulpit. 

* An enj^ravinc^ of thi« scene, modernised in character, is given in Nichols's 
*' Leicestershire," vol. i. plate 43. 

i?! Literature and Art. 


hoods. In one of the incidents of the romance of Reynard, the hero 
enters a monaltery and becomes a monk, in order to efcape the wrath of 

No. 46. Ecclcfiajikal Hincerily. 

King Noble, the hon. For fome time he made an outward Ihow of 

fandity and felf-privation, but unknown to his brethren he fecretly helped 

himfelf freely to the good things of the 

monaftery. One day he obferved, with 

longing lips, a meffenger who brought 

four fat capons as a prefent from a lay 

neighbour to the abbot. That night, 

when all the monks had retired to reft, 

Reynard obtained admiflion to the larder, 

regaled himfelf with one of the capons, 

and as foon as he had eaten it, trufTed 

the three others on his back, efcaped 

fecretly from the abbey, and, throwing 

away his monaftic garment, hurried 

home with his prey. We might almoft 

imagine our cut No. 47, taken from one 

of the flails of the church of Nantwich, 

in Cheiliire, to have been intended to ^o- 47- AV)',.i,.y lum^j Mof,i. 

rep#efent this incident, or, at leafl, a fimilar one. Our next cut, No. 48, 


Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

is taken from a ftall in the church of Bofton, in Lincolnfiiire. A prelate, 
equally falfe, is feated in his chair, with a mitre on his head, and the 
paftoral ftalF in his right hand. His flock are reprefented by a cock and 
hens, the former of which he holds fecurely with his right hand, while 
he appears to be preaching to them. 

Another mediaeval fculpture has furnifhed events for a rather curious 
hiftory, at the fame time that it is a good illuftration of our fubjed. 
Odo de Cirington, the fabulift, tells us how, one day, the wolf died, and 
the lion called the animals together to celebrate his exequies. The hare 
carried the holy water, hedgehogs bore the candles, the goats rang the 

A^o, 48. I'he Prelate and his Flock. 

bells, the moles dug the grave, the foxes carried the corpfe on the bier. 
Berengarius, the bear, celebrated mafs, the ox read the gofpel, and the 
afs the epillle. When the mafs was concluded, and Ifengrin buried, the 
animals made a Iptendid feaft out of his goods, and wifhed for fuch 
another funeral. Our fatirical ecclefiaftic makes an application of this 
ftory which tells little to the credit of the monks of his time. " So it 
frequently happens," he lays, " that when fome rich man, an extortionift 
or a ufurer, dies, the abbot or prior of a convent of beafts, i.e. of men 
living like beafts; caufes them to allemble. For it commonly happens 
that in a great convent of black or white monks (Benedi6tines or 

/;: Literature and Art. 

8 1 

Auguftinians) there are none but bealb — lions by their pride, foxes by 
their craftinefs, bears by their voracity, ftinking goats by their incontinence, 
alles by their lluggilhnefs, hedgehogs by their afperity, hares by their 
\imidity, becaufe they were cowardly where there was no fear, and oxen 
by their laborious cultivation of their land." * 

A fcene clofely refembling that here defcribed by Odo, differing only 
in the diftribution of the chara6lers, was tranflated from fome fuch 
written ftory into the pidorial language of the ancient fculptured ornamen- 
tation of Stralburg Cathedral, where it formed, apparently, two fides of 
the capital or entablature of a column near the chancel. The deceafed in 
this picture appears to be a fox, which was probably the animal intended 
to be reprefented in the original, although, in the copy of it preferved, it 
looks more like a fquirrel. The bier is carried by the goat and the boar. 

No. 49. The Funeral of the Fojf. 

while a little dog underneath is taking liberties with the tail )f tlie latter. 
Immediately before the bier, the hare carries the lighted ta^>er, preceded 
by the wolf, who carries the crofs, and the bear, who holds in one hand 
the holy-water vetiel and in the other the afperfoir. This forms the 
firfl divifion of the fubje<5t, and is reprefented in our cut No. 49. In the 

• The Latin text of tliis and some others of tlie fables of Odo de Cirington 
wilhbe found in my " Selection of Latin Stories," pp. 50-52, 55-58, and 80. 



Htftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

next divifion (cut No. 50), the flag is reprefented celebrating mafs, and 
the afs reads the Gofpel from a book which the cat fupports with 
its head. 

This curious fculpture is faid to have been of the thirteenth century. 

No. 50. The Mafs for the Fox. 

In the fixteenth century it attra6ted the attention of the reformers, who 
looked upon it as an ancient proteft againft the corruptions of the mafs, 
and one of the more diftinguifhed of them, John Fifchart, had it copied 
and engraved on wood, and publiilied it about the year 1580, with fome 
verfes of his own, in which it was interpreted as a fatire upon the papacy. 
This publication gave fuch dire offence to the ecclefiaftical authorities of 
Strafburg, that the Lutheran bookfeller who had ventured to publifli it, 
was compelled to make a public apology in the church, and the wood- 
engraving and all the impreflions were feized and burnt by the common 
hangman. A few years later, however, in 1608, another engraving was 
made, and publifhed in a large folio with Fifchart's verfes; and it is from 
the diminilhed copy of this fecond edition — given in F16gers"Gefchichte 
des Komifches Literatur" — that our cuts are taken. The orisfinal 
^culpture was ftill more unfortunate. Its publication and explanation by 
Fifchart was the caufe of no little fcandal among the Catholics, who tried 
to retort upon their opponents by afferting that the figures in this funeral 
celebration were intended to reprefent the ignorance of the Proteftant 
preachers; and the fculpture in the church continued to be regarded 
by the ecclefiaftical authorities with diffatisfadion until the year 1685, 

in Literature and Art. 

No. Si. TJie Fox 

when, to take away all further ground of fcandal, it was entirely 

Reynard's mediaeval celebrity dates certainly from a rather early period. 
Montflaucon has given an alphabet of ornamental initial letters, formed 
chiefly of figures of men and animals, from a manufcript which he 
afcribes to the ninth century, among which is the one 
copied in our cut No. 51, reprefenting a fox walking 
upon his hind legs, and carrying two fmall cocks, 
fufpended at the ends of a crofs ftafF. It is hardly 
nccelfary to fay that this group forms the letter T. 
Long before this, the Frankifli hiftorian Fredegarius, 
who wrote about the middle of the feventh century, 
introduces a fable in which the fox figures at the court 
of the lion. The fame fable is repeated by a monkifh 
writer of Bavaria, named Fromond, who flouriftied in 
the tenth century, and by another named Aimoinus, 
who lived about the year 1,000. At length, in the twelfth century, 
Guibert de Nogent, who died about the year 11 24, and who has left us 
his autobiography {de Vita fua), relates an anecdote in that work, in 
explanation of which he tells us that the wolf was then popularly 
defignated by the name of Ifengrin ; and in the fables of Odo, as we 
liave already feen, this name is commonly given to the wolf, Reynard to 
the fox, Teburg to the cat, and fo on with the others. This only fliows 
that in the fables of the twelfth century the various animals were known 
by thefe names, but it does not prove that what we know as the romance 
of Reynard exifted. Jacob Grimm argued from the derivation and forms 
of thefe names, that the fables themfelves, and the romance, originated 
with the Teutonic peoples, and were indigenous to them ; but his reafons 
appear to me to be more fpecious than conclufive, and I certainly lean to 
the opinion of my friend Paulin Paris, that the romance of Reynard was 
native of P'rance,* and that it was partly founded upon old Latin legends 

*^bcc tlic disstTtation liy M- Paulin Paris, (niblislictl in his nice popular modern 
abridgment o\ the Frcntli roiiiaiitc, publisiicd in 1861, under tiie title " Lcs Aven- 

84 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

perhaps poems. Its charader is altogether feudal, and it is itrictiy a 
pidure of fociety, in France primarily, and fecondly in England and the 
other nations of feudalifm, in the twelfth century. The earlieft form in 
^vhich this romance is known is in the French poem — or rather poems, 
lor it confifts of feveral branches or continuations — and is fuppofed to date 
from about the middle of the twelfth century. It foon became fo 
popular, that it appeared in different forms in all the languages of Weftern 
Europe, except in England, where there appears to have exifted no edition 
of the romance of Reynard the Fox until Caxton printed his profe 
Englifli verfion of the ftory. From that time it became, if poffible, more 
popular in England than elfewhere, and that popularity had hardly 
diminifhed down to the commencement of the prefent century. 

The popularity of the ftory of Reynard caufed it to be imitated in a 
variety of lliapes, and this form of fatire, in which animals afted the part 
of men, became altogether popular. In the latter part of the twelfth 
century, an Anglo-Latin poet, named Nigellus Wireker, compofed a very 
fevere fatire in elegiac verfe, under the title of Speculum Stultorum, the 
" Mirror of Fools." It is not a wife animal hke the fox, but a fimple 
animal, the afs, who, under the name of Brunellus, paffes among the 
various ranks and claffes of fociety, and notes their crimes and vices. A 
profe introdudion to this poem informs us that its hero is the reprefenta- 
tive of the monks in general, who were always longing for fome new 
acquifition which was inconfiftent with their profeffion. In fad, Brunellus 
is abforbed with the notion that his tail was too fhort, and his great 
ambition is to get it lengthened. For this purpofe he confults a phylician, 
who, after reprefenting to him in vain the folly of his purfuit, gives him 
a receipt to make his tail grow longer, and fends him to the celebrated 
medical fchool of Salerno to obtain the ingredients. After various 
adventures, in the courfe of which he lofes a part of his tail inftead of its 
being lengthened, Brunellus proceeds to the Univerfity of Paris to ftudy 

tures de Maitre Renart et d'Ysengrin son compere." On the debated question of 
the origin of the Romance, see the learned and able work by Jonckbloet, 8vo., 
Groningue, 1863. ^ 

in Literature a?id Art. 85 

and obtain knowledge ; and we are treated with a moll amufingly fatirical 
accouqt of the condition and manners of the fcholars of that time. Soon 
convinced of his incapacity for learning, Brunellus abandons the univerfity 
in delpair, and he refolves to enter one of the monallic orders, the 
charafter of all which he palTes in review. The greater part of the poem 
confifts of a very bitter latire on the corruptions of the raonkifh orders 
and of the Church in general. While ftill hefitating which order to 
choofe, Brunellus falls into the hands of his old mafter, from whom he 
had run away in order to feek his fortune in the world, and he is 
compelled to pafs the reft of his days in the fame humble and fervile 
condition in which he had begun them. 

A more dire6t imitation of " Reynard the Fox " is found in the early 
French romance of" Fauvel," the hero of which is neither a fox nor an afs, 
but a horfe. People of all ranks and clafles repair to the court of Fauvel, 
the horfe, and furnifh abundant matter for fatire on the moral, political, 
and religious hypocrify which pervaded the whole frame of fociety. At 
length the hero refolves to marry, and, in a finely illuminated manufcript 
of this romance, preferved in the Imperial Library in Paris, this marriage 
furnilhes the fubjeft of a pifture, which gives the only reprefentation I 
have met with of one of the popular ourlefque ceremonies which were fo 
common in the middle ages. 

Among other fuch ceremonies, it was cuftomary with the populace, 
on the occafion of a man's or woman's fecond marriage, or an ill-forted 
match, or on the efpoufals of people who were obnoxious to their 
neighbours, to aflemble outfide the houfe, and greet them with difcordant 
mufic. This cuftom is faid to have been praftifed efpecially in France, 
and it was called a charivari. There is ftill a laft remnant of it in our 
country in the mufic of marrow-bones and cleavers, with which the 
marriages of butchers are popularly celebrated ; but the derivation of the 
French name appears not to be known. It occurs in old Latin documents, 
for it gave rife to fuch fcandalous fcenes of riot and licentiousnefs, that 
the Church did all it could, though in vain, to fupprefs it. The earlieft 
mention of this cuftom, furniftied in the GlaJJurium of Ducange, is 
contained in the fynodal ftatutes of the church of Avignon, palfed in the 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

year 1337, from which we learn that when fuch marriages occurred, 
people forced their way into the houfes of the married couple, and carried 
away their goods, which they were obliged to pay a ranfom for before 
they were returned, and the money thus raifed was fpent in getting up 
what is called in the ftatute relating to it a Ckalvaricum. It appears from 
this ftatute, that the individuals who performed the charivari accompanied 
the happy couple to the church, and returned with them to their 
refidence, with coarfe and indecent geftures and difcordant mulic, and 

No. 52. A MeditS'ual Chari-uari, 

Uttering fcurrilous and indecent abufe, and that they ended with feafting. 
In the ftatutes of Meaux, in 1365, and in thofe of Hugh, bifliop of 
Beziers, in 1368, the fame prattice is forbidden, under the name of 
Charavallium ; and it is mentioned in a document of the year 1372, alfo 
quoted by Ducange, under that of Carivarium, as then exifting at Nimes. 
Again, in I445j the Council of Tours made a decree, forbidding, under 
pain of excommunication, "the infolences, clamours, founds, and other 
tumults pra6tifed at fecond and third nuptials, called by the vulgar a 

in Literature and Art, 


Chanvariuvi , on account of the many and grave evils arifnig out of 
them."* It will be oblerved that thefe early allufions to the charivari 
are found almoft folely in documents coming from the Roman towns in 
the fouth of France, fo that this pradice was probably one of the manv 
popular cuftoms derived diredly from the Romans. When Cotgrave's 
" Dictionary " was publilhed (that is, in 1632) the pradice of the charivari 
appears to have become more general in its exiftence, as well as its 
application j for he defcribes it as "a public defamation, or traducing of j 

No. 53, Continuation of the Chari-vari. 

a foule noife made, blacke fantus rung, to the fliame and difgrace of 
another J hence an infamous (or infaming) ballad fung, by an armed 
troupe, under the window of an old dotard, married the day before unto 
a yong wanton, in mockerie of them both." And, again, a charivaris de 

• " Insultationes, clamores, sonos, et alios tumultus, In sccunclls et tertiis quo- 
ruadam nuptiis, quos charivarium vulgo appellant, propter niulta ct fjiavia inconi- 
moda, prohibcmus sub poena cxcommunicationis." — Ducangc, v. Chari-varium. 

88 Hijiory of Caricature and Grote/que 

poelles is explained as " the carting of an infamous perfon, graced with 
the harmonie of tinging kettles and frying-pan muficke."* The word i. 
now generally ufed in the fenfe of a great tumult of difcordant mufic. 
produced often by a number of perfons playing different tunes on 
different inftruments at the fame time. 

As I have ftated above, the manufcript of the romance of " Fauvel " 
is in the Imperial Library in Paris. A copy of this illumination is 
engraved in Jaime's " Mufee de la Caricature," from which our cuts 
Nos. 52 and 53 are taken. It is divided into three compartments, one 
above another, in the uppermoft of which Fauvel is feen entering the 
nuptial chamber to his young wife, who is already in bed. The fcene in 
the compartment below, which is copied in our cut No. 52, reprefents 
the flreet outfide, and the mock revellers performing the charivari; 
and this is continued in the third, or loweft, compartment, which 
is reprefented in our cut No. ^2- Down each fide of the original 
illumination is a frame-work of windows, from which people, who 
have been difturbed by the noife, are looking out upon the tumult. 
It will be feen that all the performers wear malks, and that they are 
drelTed in burlefque coflume. In confirmation of the ftatement of the 
ecclefiaftical fynods as to the licentioufnefs of thefe exhibitions, we 
fee one of the performers here difguifed as a woman, who lifts up his 
drefs to expofe his perfon while dancing. The mufical inftruments 
are no lefs grotefque than the coflumes, for they confifl chiefly of kitchen 
utenfils, fuch as frying-pans, mortars, faucepans, and the like. 

There was another feries of fubjeds in which animals were introduced 
as the inflruments of fatire. This fatire confifted in reverfing the pofition 
of man with regard to the animals over which he had been accuftomed 
to tyrannife, fo that he was fubjefted to the fame treatment from the 
animals which, in his a£lual pofition, he ufes towards them. This change 
of relative pofition was called in old French and Anglo-Norman, le 
monde leflorne, which was equivalent to the Englifli phrafe, " the world 
turned upfide down." It forms the fubje6t of rather old verfes, I believe, 

* Cotgrave's Dictionarie, v. Charivaris. 

in Literature and Art. 


both in French and Englilh, and individual fcenes from it are met with 
in piftorial reprelentation at a rather early date. During the year 1862, 
in the courfe of accidental exc.nations on the fite of the Friary, al 
Derby, a number of encaiiftic tiles, fuch as were ufed for the tloors 
of the interiors of churches and large buildings, were found.* The 
ornamentation of thefe tiles, efpecially of the earlier ones, is, like all 

iVc. 54. Jht Tables Turned. 

mediaeval ornamentations, extremely varied, and even thefe tiles fome- 
times prefent fubje6fc> of a burlefcjue and fatirical character, though they 
are more frequently adorned with the arms and badges of benefadors to 
the church or convent. The tiles found on the iite of the priory at 
Derby are believed to be of the thirteenth century, and one pattern, a 
diminifhed copy of which is given in our cut No. 54, prefents a fubjeft 

* Mr. Llewtilynn Jewitt, in his excellent publication, the Relijujry, for Oitober, 
18^, has {{ivcn an interesting paper on the encaustic tiles iound on tiiis occasion^ 
and on the conventual house to which they belonged. 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

taken from the monde leftorne. The hare, mailer of his old enemy, the 
dog, has become hunter himfelf, and feated upon the dog's back he rides 
vigoroufly to the chace, blowing his horn as he goes. The defign is 
fpiritedly executed, and its fatirical intention is fhown by the monftrous 
and mirthful face, with the tongue lolling out, figured on the outer 
corner of the tile. It will be feen that four of thefe tiles are intended to 
be joined together to make the complete piece. In an illumination 
•in a manufcript of the fourteenth century in the Britilh Mufeum 
(MS. Reg. lo E iv.), the hares are taking a ftill ii-.ore fevere vengeance 

^°- 55- J"ft''ce in the Hands of the Perfecuted. 

on their old enemy. The dog has been caught, brought to trial for his 
numerous murders, and condemned, and they are reprefented here 
(cut No. 55) condufting him in the criminal's cart to the gallows. Our 
cut No. ^6, the fubjeft of which is furniflied by one of the carved ftalls 
in Sherborne Minfter (it is here copied from the engraving in Carter's 
" Specimens of Ancient Sculpture"), reprefents another execution fcene, 
fimilar in fpirit to the former. The geek have feized their old enemy, 
Reynard, and are hanging him on a gallows, while two monks, who 
attend the execution, appear to be amufed at the energetic manner in 

in Literature and Art. 


which the geefe perform their talk. Mr. Jewitt mentions two other 
lubje6ts belonging to this feries, one of them taken from an illuminated 
manufcript ; they are, the moufe chafing the cat, and the horfe driving 

No. 56. Reynard brought to Account at Laji. 

the cart — the former human carter in this cafe taking the place of the 
horfe between the lliafts. 

"The World turned upfide down j or, the Folly of Man," has 
continued amongft us to be a popular chap-book and child's book till 
within a very few years, and I have now a copy before me printed in 
London about the year 1790. It confifts of a feries of rude w^oodcuts, 
with a few doggrel verfes under each. One of thefe, entitled "The Ox 
turned Farmer," reprefents two men drawing the plough, driven by an 
ox. In the next, a rabbit is feen turning the fpit on which a man is 
roalVmg, while a cock holds a ladle and baftes. In a third, we fee a 
tournament, in which the horfes are armed and ride upon the men. 
Another reprefents the ox killing the butcher. In others we have birds 
netting men and women j the als, turned miller, employing the man- 
miller to carry his facks ; the horfe turned groom, and currying the manj 
and the fifties angling for men and catching them. 

In a cleverly fculptured ornament in Beverley Minfler, reprcfented \x\ 
ourtut No. 57, the goofe herfelf is reprefentid in a grotefcme lituation^ 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

which might almoft give her a place in " The World turned upfide 
down," although it is a mere burlefque, without any apparent fatirical 

^0. 57. Shoeing the Goofe. 

aim. The goofe has here taken the place of the horfe at the blackfmith's, 

who is vigoroufly nailing the fhoe on her webbed foot. 

Burlefque fubjefts of this defcription are not uncommon, efpecially 

among architeftural fculpture and 
wood-carving, and, at a rather 
later period, on all ornamental 
objeas. The field for fuch fubjeds 
was fo extenfive, that the artifl 
had an almoft unlimited choice, 
and therefore his fubje6ts might be 
almoft infinitely varied, though we 

No. 58. Food for S-wine. ^^"^^^^ ^""^ them runnmg on par- 

ticular clafl^es. The old popular 
proverbs, for inftance, furnifhed a fruitful fource for drollery, and are at 
times delineated in an amufingly literal or praftical manner. Pi6torial 

in Literature and Art. 


proverbs and popular layings are Ibmetimes met with on the carved 
niifereres. For example, in one of thole at Rouen, in Normandy, 
reprefented in our cut No. 58, the carver has intended to reprefent 
the idea of the old faying, in allulion to milplaced bounty, of throwing 
pearls to fwine, and has given it a much more pifturefque and pi6lorially 
intelligible form, by introducing a rather dafhing female feeding her 
fwine with rofes, or rather offering them rofes for food, for the fwine 
difplay no eagernefs to feed upon them. 

We meet with fuch fubjedls as thefe fcattered over all mediaeval 
works of art, and at a fomewhat later period they were transferred to 
other objeds, fuch as the figns of houfes. The cullom of placing ligns 

Nc. 59, The InduJ}rkui Soiv. 

over the doors of fhops and taverns, was well known to the ancients, as is 
abundantly manifefted by their frequent occurrence in the ruins of 
Pompeii ; but in the middle ages, the ufe of figns and badges was 
univerfal, and as — contrary to the apparent pra6tice in Pompeii, where 
certain badges were appropriated to certain trades and profellions — every 
individual was free to choofe his own lign, the variety was unlimited. 
Many ftill had reference, no doubt, to the particular calling of thofe to 
whom they belonged, while others were of a religious charadter, and 
indicated the faint under whofe protedion the houfeholder had placed 
himfelf. Some people took animals for their figns, others monllrous 
or'^uriefque figures ; and, in fa6t, there were hardly any o*" the fubjetls of 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqut 

caricature or burlefque familiar to the mediaeval fculptor and illuminator 
which did not from time to time appear on thefe popular figns. A few 
of the old figns ftill preferved, efpecially in the quaint old towns of 
France, Germany, and the Netherlands, fhow us how frequently they 

were made the inftruments of popular fatire. 
A fign not uncommon in France was La 
Truie qui Jile (the fow fpinning). Our cut 
No. 59 reprefents this fubjeft as treated on 
an eld fign, a carving in baf-relief of the 
fixteenth century, on a houfe in the Rue 
du March e-aux-Poirees, in Rouen. The fow 
appears here in the charafter of the induftrious 
houfewife, employing herfelf in fpinning at 
the fame time that fhe is attending to the 
wants of her children. There is a Angularly 
fatirical fign at Beauvais, on a houfe which 
was formerly occupied by an epicier-moutardier, 
or grocer who made muftard, in the Rue du 
Chatel. In front of this fign, which is repre- 
fented in our cut No. 60, appears a large 
mufl:ard-mill, on one fide of which ftands 
Folly with a fl:afF in her hand, with which 
fhe is fiiiring the muflard, while an ape 
with a fort of fardonic grin, throws in a feafoning, which may bj 
conjedtured by his pofl.ure.* The trade-mark of the individual wh* 
adopted this ftrange device, is carved below. 

No. 60. yldul(eration. 

* See an interesting little book on this subject by M. Ed. de la Queriere, 
entitled *' Recherches sur les Enseignes des Maisons Particulieres," 8vo., Rouen, 
1852, from which both the above examples are taken. 

in Literature and Art, 95 






THE fox, the wolf, and their companions, were introduced as 
inflruments of fatire, on account of their peculiar charadlersj but 
there were other animals which were alfo favourites with the fatirill, 
becaufe they difplayed an innate inclination to imitate ; they formed, as 
it were, natural parodies upon mankind. I need hardly fay that of thefe 
the principal and moll remarkable was the monkey. This animal muft 
have been known to our Anglo-Saxon forefathers from a remote period, 
for they had a word for it in their own language — apa, our ape. Monkey 
is a more modern name, and feems to be equivalent with mamken, or a 
little man. The earlieft Beftiaries, or popular treatifes on natural hiftory, 
give anecdotes illuftrative of the aptnefs of this animal for imitating the 
aftions of men, and afcribe to it a degree of underftanding which would 
almoft raife it above the level of the brute creation. Philip de Thaun, 
an Anglo-Norman poet of the reign of Henry I., in his Bejliai-y, tells us 
that " the monkey, by imitation, as books fay, counterfeits what it fees, 
and mocks people :" — 

Li fm/re par fgure,ft cum ait efcripturcy 
Ceo que il -vail contrefait, de gent efcar Aait,* 

• Sec my "Popular Treatises on Science written during tlic Middle AgeV' 
p. 107. 

q6 Hi /lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

He goes on to inform us, as a proof of the extraordinary inftinft of this 
animal, that it has more affedion for fome of its cubs than for others, 
and that, when running away, it carried thofe which it hked before it, 
and thofe it difliked behind its back. The Iketch from the illuminated 

manufcript of the Romance of the Comte 
d' Artois, of the fifteenth century, which forms 
our cut No. 61, reprefents the monkey, carry- 
ing, of courfe, its favourite child before it in 
its flight, and what is more, it is taking that 
flight mounted on a donkey. A monkey 
on horfeback appears not to have been a 
novelty, as we fliall fee in the fequel. 
No. 61. y^ Monkey Alexander Neckam, a very celebrated 

Englilh fcholar of the latter part of the 
twelfth century, and one of the mofl interefting of the early mediaeval 
writers on natural hillory, gives us many anecdotes, which iTiow us 
how much attached our mediaeval forefathers were to domeflicated 
animals, and how common a pra6tice it was to keep them in 
their houfes. The baronial caftle appears often to have prefented the 
appearance of a menagerie of animals, among which fome were of that 
flrong and ferocious charafter that rendered it neceflTary to keep them in 
clofe confinement, while others, fuch as monkeys, roamed about the 
buildings at will. One of Neckam's ftories is very curious in regard to 
our fubje6t, for it fhows that the people in thofe days exercifed their 
tamed animals in pra6tically caricaturing contemporary weaknefles and 
falhions. This writer remarks that " the nature of the ape is fo ready at 
a6ting, by ridiculous gefticulations, the reprefentations of things it has 
feen, and thus gratifying the vain curiofity of worldly men* in public 
exhibitions, that it will even dare to imitate a military conflift. A 
jongleur (hi/irio) was in the habit of conftantly taking two monkeys to 
the military exercifes which are commonly called tournaments, that the 
labour of teaching might be diminillied by frequent infpeftion. He 
afterwards taught two dogs to carry thefe apes, who fat on their backs, 
furnifhed with proper arms. Nor did they want fours, with which they 

in Literature and Art. 


ftrenuoufly urged on the dogs. Having broken their lances, they drew 
out their fwords, with which they Ipent many blows on each other's 
fhields. Who at this fight could refrain from laughter?"* 

Such contemporary caricatures of the mediaeval tournament, which 
was in its greatert falhion during the period from the twelfth to the 
fourteenth century, appear to have been extremely popular, and are not 
unfrequently reprefented in the borders of illuminated manufcripts. 
The manufcript now fo well known as "Queen Mary's Pfalter " 
(MS. Reg. 3 B vii.), and written and illuminated very early in the 
fourteenth centur}', contains not a few illuftrations of this defcription. 
One of thefe, which forms our cut No. 62, reprefents a tournament 

No, 62. A Tournament . 

not much unlike that defcribed by Alexander Neckam, except that 
the monkeys are here riding upon other monkeys, and not upon 
dogs. In fa6t, all the individuals here engaged are monkeys, and 
the parody is completed by the introduftion of the trumpeter on 
one fide, and of minftrelfy, reprefented by a monkey playing on the 
tabor, on the other; or, perhaps, the two monkeys are fimply 
playing on the pipe and tabor, which were looked upon as the loweft 
defcription of minftrelfy, and are therefore the more aptly introduced 
into the fccne. 

The fame manufcript has furnifhed us with the cut No. 6^. Here 

• Alfxander Neckam, Dc Naturis Rcrum, lib. ii. c up 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

the combat takes place between a monkey and a flag, the latter having 
the claws of a griffin. They are mounted, too, on rather nondefcript 
animals — one having the head and body of a lion, with the forefeet of 
an eagle ; the other having a head fomewhat like that of a lion, on a 
lion's body, with the hind parts of a bear. This fubjeft may, perhaps, be 
intended as a burlefque on the mediaeval romances, filled with combats 
between the Chriflians and the Saracens ; for the ape — who, in the 
moralifations which accompany the Bejtiaries, is faid to reprefent the devil 

No. 63. A Feat of Armi. 

— is here armed with what are evidently intended for the fabre and 
ihield of a Saracen, while the flag carries the fliield and lance of a 
Chriftian knight. 

The love of the mediaeval artifts for monftrous figures of animals, and 
for mixtures of animals and men, has been alluded to in a former chapter. 
The combatants in the accompanying cut (No. 64), taken from the fame 
manufcript, prefent a fort of combination of the rider and the animal, and 
they again feem to be intended for a Saracen and a Chriftian. The 
figure to the right, which is compofed of the body of a fiityr, with the 
feet of a goofe and the wings of a dragon, is armed with a fimilar 
Saracenic fabre ; while that to the left, which is on the whole lefs 
monftrous, wields a Norman fword. Both have human faces below the 
navel as well as above, which was a favourite idea in the grotefque of the 

in Literature and Art. 


middle ages. Our mediaeval forefathers appear to have had a decided 
tafte for monflrolities of every defcription, and efpecially for mixtures of 

No. 64. A Terrible Combat. 

dilfcrent kinds of animals, and of animals and men. There is no doubt, 

to judge by the anecdotes recorded by fuch writers as Giraldus 

Cambrenfis, that a belief in the exiftence of fuch 

unnatural creatures was widely entertained. In his 

account of Ireland, this writer tells us of animals 

which were half ox and half man, half flag and 

half cow, and half dog and half monkey.* It is 

certain that there was a general belief in fuch 

animals, and nobody could be more credulous than 

Giraldus himfelf. 

Tile dcfign to caricature, which is tolerably evident 
in the fubje6ts juft given, is dill more apparent in 

other eroteffiues that adorn the borders of the i*-^^. ^ 

mediiLval manufcripts, as well as in fome of the C^ ^' 
mediaeval carvings and fculpture. Thus, in our cut ^".e^. F^pjionable DreJ>. 
Xo. 6^, taken from one of the borders in the Romance of the Cornte 

• See Girald. Cambr., Topog. Hibcrniae, dist. ii. cc. 21, 22 ; and the Itinerary 
of Wales, lib. ii. c 11. 

ioo Hijiory of Caricature aijd Grotefque 

d'Artois, a manufcript of the fifteenth century, we cannot fail to 
recognife an attempt at turning to ridicule the contemporary falhions in 
drefs. The hat is only an exaggerated form of one which appears to 
have been commonly ufed in France in the latter half of the fifteenth 
century, and which appears frequently in illuminated manufcripts 
executed in Burgundy j and the boot alfo belongs to the fame period. 
The latter reappeared at different times, until at length it became 
developed into the modern top-boots. In cut No. 66, from the fame 

No. 66. Heads and Hats. 

manufcript, where it forms the letter T, we have the fame form of 
hat, fl;ill more exaggerated, and combined at the fame time with 
grotefque faces. 

Caricatures on coftume are by no means uncommon among the 
artillic remains of the middle ages, and are not confined to illuminated 
manufcripts. The fafliionable dreffes of thofe days went into far more 
ridiculous exceffes of fliape than anything we fee in our times — at leafl:, 
fo far as we can believe the drawings in the manufcripts j but thefe, 
however ferioufly intended, were conftantly degenerating into caricature, 
from circumftances which are eafily explained, and which have, in fa6t, 
been explained already in their influence on other parts of our fubjeft. 
The mediaeval artifts in general were not very good delineators of form, 
and their outlines are much inferior to their finifli. Confcious of this, 
though perhaps unknowingly, they fought to remedy the defeft in a fpirit 
which has always been adopted in the early ftages of art-progrefs — they 
aimed at making themfelves underftood by giving a fpecial prominence to 

in Literature and Art. i o i 

the peculiar charaderiltics of the objedts they wilhed to reprefent. Thcle 
were the points which naturally attracted people's firll attention, and 
the relemblance was felt molt by people in general when thefe points 
were put forward in excellive prominence in the pifture. The drelfes, 
perhaps, hardly exilled in the exaft forms in which we f(^e them in the 
illuminations^ or at leaft thofe were only exceptions to the generally 
more moderate forms j and hence, in ufing thefe pi£torial records as 
materials for the hiftorj' of coftume, we ought to make a certain allowance 
for exaggeration — we ought, indeed, to treat them almoft as caricatures. 
In iz&., much of what we now call caricature, was then charaderiilic of 
lerious art, and of what was confidered its high development. Many of 
the attempts which have been made of late years to introduce ancient 
cortume on the ftage, would probably be regarded by the people who 
lived in the age which they were intended to reprefent, as a mere defign 
to turn them into ridicule. Neverthelefs, the fafhions in drefs were, 
efpecially from the twelfth century to the fixteenth, carried to a great 
degree of extravagance, and were not only the obje6ts of fatire and 
caricature, but drew forth the indignant declamations of the Church, and 
furnilhed a continuous theme to the preachers. The contemporary 
chronicles abound with bitter reflexions on the extravagance in coftume, 
which was confidered as one of the outward figns of the great corruption 
of particular periods j and they give us not unfrequent examples of the 
coarfe manner in which the clergy difcufled them in their fermons. The 
readers of Chaucer will remember the manner in which this fubje6t is 
treated in the " Parfon's Tale." In this refpe6t the fatirilts of the 
Church went hand in hand with the pictorial caricaturifts of the illumi- 
nated manufcripts, and of the fculptures with which we fomelimcs meet 
in contemporary architettural ornamentation. In the latter, this clafs 
of caricature is perhaps lels frequent, but it is fometimes very exprellive. 
The very curious mifcnrcs in the church of Ludlow, in Shroplhire, prefent 
the caricature reproduced in our cut No. 67. It rcprefcnts an ugly, 
and, to judge by the exprcHion of the countenance, an ill-ti-mpered old 
woman, wearing the failiionable head-drefs of the earlier half of the 
fifteenth century, which feems to have been carried to its grcatell 

5 02 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

extravagance in the beginning of the reign of Henry VI. It is the flyle 
of coiffure known efpecially as the horned head-drefs, and the very name 
carries with it a fort of relationfliip to an individual who was notorioufly 

No, 67. A Fajhionable Beauty, 

horned — the fpirit of evil. This dafhing dame of the olden time appears 
to have flruck terror into two unfortunates who have fallen within her 

influence, one of whom, as though he 
took her for a new Gorgon, is attempt- 
ing to cover himfelf with his buckler, 
while the other, apprehending danger of 
another kind, is prepared to defend him- 
felf with his fword. The details of the 
head-drefs in this figure are interefling 
for the liiflory of coftume. 

Our next cut. No. 68, is taken from 
a manufcript in private pofTeflion, which 
is now rather well known amonsf anti- 
quaries by the name of the " Luttrell 
Pfalter," and which belongs to the four- 
teenth century. It feems to involve a 
fatire on the ariflocratic order of fociety 
—on the knight who was diflinguifhed 
by his helmet, his fhield, and his armour. The individual here repre- 
fented prefenrs a type which is anything but ariffocratic. While he holds 

No. 68. A Man of War. 

i?i Literature arid Art. 


a helmet in his hand to Ihow the meaning of the fatire, his own hehiiet, 

which he wears on his head, is fimply a bellows. He may be a knight 

of the kitchen, or perhaps a mere qu'iftron, or kitchen lad. 

We have juft feen a caricature of one of the ladies' heaid-dreffes of the 

earlier half of the fifteenth century, and our cut No. 69, from an illuminated 

manufcript in the Britifh Mufeum of the latter half of 

the fame century (MS. Harl., No. 4379), furniflics 

us with a caricature of a head-drefs of a different 

chara£ter, which came into falhion in the reign of our 

Edward IV. The horned head-drefs of the previous 

generation had been entirely laid afide, and the 

ladies adopted in its place a fort of fteeple-fhaped 

head-drefs, or rather of the form of a fpire, made by 

rolling a piece of linen into the form of a long cone. 

Over this lofty cap was thrown a piece of fine lawn or 

muflin, which defcended almolt to the ground, and 

formed, as it were, two wings. A fhort iranfparent 

veil was thrown over the face, and reached not quite 

to the chin, refembling rather clofely the veils in ufe 
among cur ladies of the prefent day (1864). The 
whole head-drefs, indeed, has been preferved by the 
Norman peafantry ; for it may be obferved that, 
during the feudal ages, the falliions in France and 
England were always identical. Thefe fteeple head-dreffes greatly pro- 
voked the indignation of the clergy, and zealous preachers attacked them 
roughly in their fermons. A French monk, named Thomas Conede, 
diftinguilhed himfelf efpecially in this crufade, and inveighed againll 
the head-drefs with fuch effeft, that we are aflured that many of the 
women threw down their head-drefles in the middle of the fermon, and 
made a bonfire of them at its conclufion. The zeal of the preacher foon 
extended itfelf to the populace, and, for a while, when ladies appeared in 
this head-drefs in public, they were expofed to be pelted by the rabble. 
Under fuch a double perfecution it difaj)peared for a moment, but when 
the preacher was no longer prefent, it returned again, and, to ufr the 

No. 69. A Lad/i 

I04 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

words of the old writer who has preferved this anecdote, " the women 
who, hke fnails in a fright, had drawn in their horns, fliot them out again 
as foon as the danger was over." The caricaturift would hardly overlook 
fo extravagant a falhion, and accordingly the manufcript in the Britilh 
Mufeum, juft mentioned, furnifhes us with the fubje6t of our cut No. 69. 
In thofe times, when the pafTions were fubje6led to no reftraint, the fine 
ladies indulged in fuch luxury and licentioufnefs, that the caricaturift has 
chofen as their fit reprefentative a fow, who wears the objeftionable head- 
drefs in full fafliion. The original forms one of the illuftrations of a 
copy of the hiftorian FroilTart, and was, therefore, executed in France, 
or, more probably, in Burgundy. 

The fermons and fatires againfl extravagance m coftume began at an 
early period. The Anglo-Norman ladies, in the earlier part of the 
twelfth century, firfl brought in vogue in our ifland this extravagance in 
fafhion, which quickly fell under the lalh of fatirift and caricaturift. It 
was firft exhibited in the robes rather than in the head-drefs, Thefe 
Anglo-Norman ladies are underftood to have firfi; introduced flays, in 
order to give an artificial appearance of flendernefs to their waiflsj but 
the greateft extravagance appeared in the forms of their fleeves. The 
robe, or gown, inftead of being loofe, as among the Anglo-Saxons, was 
laced clofe round the body, and the fleeves, which fitted the arm tightly 
till they reached the elbows, or fometimes nearly to the wrift, then 
fuddenly became larger, and hung down to an extravagant length, often 
trailing on the ground, and fometimes fhortened by means of a knot. 
The gown, alfo, was itfelf worn very long. The clergy preached againft 
thefe extravagances in falhion, and at times, it is faid, with effe6t 5 and 
they fell under the vigorous lafh of the fatirifl. In a clafs of fatires which 
became extremely popular in the twelfth century, and which produced 
. in the thirteenth the immortal poem of Dante — the vifions of purgatory 
and of hell — thefe contemporary extravagances in fafliion are held up to 
public deteftation, and are made the fubje6l of fevere punilhment. 
They were looked upon as among the outward forms of pride. It arofe, 
no doubt, from this taile — from the darker Ihade which fpread over men's 
minds in the twelfth century — that demons, inftead of animals, were 

in Literature and Art. 


introduced to perlbnify the evil-doers of the time. Such is the figure 
(cut No. 70) which we take from a very interefting manufcript in the 
Britilh Mufeum (MS. Cotton. Nero, C iv.). The demon is here dreffed 
ill the fafiiionable gown with its long fleeves, of which one appears to have 
been uf^aally much longer than the other. Both the gown and lleeve are 
fhortened by means of knots, while the former is brought clofe round 

No. 70. &'« in Satins. 

the waift by tight lacing. It is a pifture of the ufe of ftays made at the 
time of their firft introduttion. 

This fuperfluity of length in tlie different parts of the drefs was a 
fubje6t of complaint and fatirc at various and very dillant periods, and 
contemporary illuminations of a pcrfc6tly ferious chara6tcr fhow that 
thefe complaints were not without foundation. 

io6 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 





I HAVE already remarked that, upon the fall of the Roman empire,, 
the popular inftitutions of the Romans were more generally 
preferved to the middle ages than thofe of a higher and more refined 
charafter. This is underftood without difficulty, when we confider that 
the lower clafs of the population — in the towns, what we might perhaps 
call the lower and middle dalles — continued to exift much the fame as 
oefore, while the barbarian conquerors came in and took the place of the 
ruling claffes. The drama, which had never much hold upon the love 
of the Roman populace, was loft, and the theatres and the amphitheatres, 
which had been fupported only by the wealth of the imperial court and 
of the ruling clafs, were abandoned and fell into ruin ; but the viimus, 
who furnilhed mirth to the people, continued to exift, and probably 
underwent no immediate change in his charafter. It will be well to 
ftate again the chief chara£teriftics of the ancient viimus, before we 
proceed to defcribe his mediaeval reprefentative. 

The grand aim of the mimus was to make people laugh, and he 
employed generally every means he knew of for effefting this purpofe, 
by language, by geftures or motions of the body, or by drefs. Thus he 
carried, ftrapped over his loins, a wooden fword, which was called 
gladius hijlricus and clunaculum, and wore fometimes a garment made of 
a great number of fmall pieces of cloth of different colours, which was 
hence called centunculus, or the hundred-patched drefs * Thefe two 

* " Uti me consuessetragoedi syrmate, histrionis crotalone ad trieterica orgia, aut 
mimi centunculo." — Apuleius, Apolog. 

in Literature and Art. 


charaderiftics have been preferved in the modern harlequin. Other 
peculiarities of coftume may conveniently be left undefcribed j the female 
miniae foraetimes exhibited themfelves unreftrifted by drefs. They 
danced and fung ; repeated jokes and told merry ftories ; recited or afted 
farces and fcandalous anecdotes ; performed what we now call mimicry, 
a word derived from the name of mimusj and they put themfelves in 
flrange poftures, and made frightful faces. They fometimes afted the 
part of a fool or zany {mono), or of a madman. They added to thefe 
performances that of the conjurer or juggler {prceft'igiator), and played 
tricks of fleight of hand. The mimi performed in the ftreets and public 
places, or in the theatres, and efpecially at feftivals, and they were often 
employed at private parties, to entertain the guefts at a fupper. 

We trace the exillence of this clafs of performers during the earlier 
period of the middle ages by the exprellions of hollility towards them 
ufed from time to time by the ecclefiaftical writers, and the denunciations 
of fynods and councils, which have been quoted in a former chapter.* 
Neverthelefs, i is evident from many allufions to them, that they found 
their way into the monadic houfes, and were in great favour not only 
among the monks, but among the nuns alfo ; that they were introduced 
into the religious feftivalsj and that they were tolerated even in the 
churches. It is probable that they long continued to be known in Italy 
and the countries near the centre of Roman influence, and where the 
Latin language was continued, by their old name of mimus. The 
writers of the mediaeval vocabularies appear all to have been much better 
acquainted with the meaning of this word than of moft of the Latin 
words of the fame clafs, and they evidently had a clafs of performers 
exifting in their own times to whom they confidered that the name 
applied. The Anglo-Saxon vocabularies interpret the Latin mimus by 
gli<r-mon, a gleeman. In Anglo-Saxon, glig or gliu meant mirth and 
game of every defcription, and as the Anglo-Saxon teachers who compiled 
the vocabularies give, as fynonyms of mimus, the words fcurra, joci/ia, 
and pantomimus, it is evident that all thefe were included in the chara6ter 

• Sec before, p. 41 of the present volume. 

io8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

of the gleeman, and that the latter was quite identical with his Koman 
type. It was the Roman mimus introduced into Saxon England. We 
have no traces of the exiftence of fuch a clafs of performers among the 
Teutonic race before they became acquainted with the civilifation of 
imperial Rome. We know from drawings in contemporary illuminated 
manufcripts that the performances of the gleeman did include mufic, 
finging, and dancing, and alfo the tricks of mountebanks and jugglers, 
fuch as throwing up and catching knives and balls, and performing with 
tamed bears, &c.* 

But even among the peoples who preferved the Latin language, 
the word mimus was gradually exchanged for others employed to fignify 
the fame thing. The word jocus had been ufed in the fignification 
of a jeft, playfulnefs, jocari fignified to jeft, and joculator was a word 
for a jefterj but, in the debafement of the language, jocz/i was taken in 
the fignification of everything which created mirth. It became, in 
the courfe of time the French word jeu, and the Italian gioco, or 
giuoco. People introduced a form of the verb, jocares which became the 
French juer, to play or perform. Joculator was then ufed in the 
fenfe of mimus. In French the word became jogleor, or jougleor, and 
in its later form jongleur. I may remark that, in mediaeval manu- 
fcripts, it is almoft impoflible to diliinguifh between the u and the n, and 
that modern writers have mifread this laft word as jongleur, and thus 
introduced into the language a word which never exifted, and which 
ought to be abandoned. In old Englilh, as we fee in Chaucer, the ufual 
form was jogelere. The mediaeval joculator, or jougleur, embraced all 
the attributes of the Roman mijnus,f and perhaps more. In the firft 

* See examples of these illuminations in my " History of Domestic Manners 
and Sentiments," pp. 34, 35, 37, 65. 

+ People in the middle ages were so fully conscious of the identity of the 
mediaeval jougleur with the Roman mimus, that the Latin writers often use mimus . 
to signify a jougleur, and the one is interpreted by the others in the vocabularies. 
Thus, in Latin-English vocabularies of the fifteenth century, we have — 

Hie joculator, "i , ,. . , 
rr- i -^»?"«joguIour. 

in Literature and Art. \ 09 

place he was very often a poet himfelf, and compofed the pieces which it 
was one of his duties to fing or recite. Thefe were chieflv fongs, or 
(lories, the latter ufually told in verfe, and fo many of them are preferved 
in manufcripts that they form a very numerous and important clafs of 
mediaeval literature. The fongs were commonly fatirical and abufive, 
and they were made ufe of for purpofes of general or perfonal 
vituperation. Out of them, indeed, grew the political fongs of a later 
period. There were female jongleurs, and both fexes danced, and, to 
create mirth among thofe who encouraged them, they pradifed a variety 
of performances, fuch as mimicking people, making wry and ugly faces, 
diftorting their bodies into ftrange poftures, often expofing their perfons in 
a very unbecoming manner, and performing many vulgar and indecent 
a6ts, which it is not neceflary to defcribe more particularly. They 
carried about with them for exhibition tame bears, monkeys, and other 
animals, taught to perform the adions of men. As early as the 
thirteenth century, we find them including among their other accom- 
pliihments that of dancing upon the tight-rope. Finally, the jongleurs 
performed tricks of fleight of hand, and were often conjurers and 
magicians. As, in modern times, the jongleurs of the middle ages 
gradually paffed away, fleight of hand appears to have become their 
principal accomplifliment, and the name only was left in the modern 
word juggler. The jongleurs of the middle ages, like the mimi of 
antiquity, wandered about from place to place, and often from country 
to countr)', fometimes fingly and at others in companies, exhibited their 
performances in the roads and ftreets, repaired to all great feftivals, and 
were employed efpecially in the baronial hall, where, by their fongs, 
ftories, and other performances, they created mirth after dinner. 

This clafs of fociety had become known by another name, the origin 
of which is not fo eafily explained. The primary meaning of the Latin 
word minijler was a fervant, one who minifters to another, either in his 
wants or in his pleafures and amufements. It was applied particularly to 
the cup-bearer. In low Latinity, a diminutive of this word was formed, 
mineftdlus, or miniJlrcUus, a petty fervant, or minifler. When we firft 
tn«et with this word, which is not at a very early date, it is ufcd as 

1 1 o Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

perfedly fynoiiymous v!\xh.joculator, and, as the word is certainly of Latin 
derivation, it is clear that it was from it the middle ages derived the 
French word meneftrel (the modern menetrier) , and the Englifli minftrel. 
The mimi or jongleurs were perhaps confidered as the petty minifters to 
the amufements of their lord, or of him who for the time employed them. 
Until the clofe of the middle ages, the minftrel and the jongleur were 
abfolutely identical. Poflibly the former may have been confidered the 
more courtly of the two names. But m England, as the middle ages 
difappeared, and loft their influence on fociety fooner than in France, the 
word minftrel remained attached only to the mufical part of the funftions 
of the old mimus, while, as juft obferved, the juggler took the fleight of 
hand and the mountebank tricks. In modern French, except where 
employed technically by the antiquary, the word menetrier means 
a fiddler. 

The jongleurs, or minftrels, formed a very numerous and important, 
though a low and defpifed, clafs of mediaeval fociety. The dulnefs of 
every-day hfe in a feudal callle or manfion required fomething more than 
ordinary excitement in the way of amufement, and the old family bard, 
who continually repeated to the Teutonic chief the praifes of himfelf and 
his anceftors, was foon felt to be a wearifome companion. The mediaeval 
knights and their ladies wanted to laugh, and to make them laugh 
fufficiently it required that the jokes, or tales, or comic performances, 
fhould be broad, coarfe, and racy, with a good fpicing of violence and of 
the wonderful. Hence the jougleur was always welcome to the feudal 
manfion, and he feldom went away diffatisfied. But the fubje6t of the 
prefent chapter is rather the literature of the jougleur than his perfonal 
hiftory, and, having traced his origin to the Roman mimus, we will now 
\)roceed to one clafs of his performances. 

It has been ftated that the mimus and the jongleurs told ftories. Of 
thofe of the former, unfortunately, none are preferved, except, perhaps, in 
a few anecdotes fcattered in the pages of fuch writers as Apuleius and 
Lucian, and we are obliged to guefs at their chara6ter, but of the ftories 
of the jongleurs a confiderable number Iws been preferved. It becomes 
an interefting queflion how far thefe ftories have been derived from the 

/;; Literature arid Art, 1 1 1 

mimi, handed down traditionally from mimus to jougleur, how tar tiiey 
are native in our race, or how far they were derived at a later date from 
other fources. And in confidering this quellion, we muft not forget that 
the mediaeval jongleurs were not the only reprefentatives of the mimi, 
for among the Arabs of the Eall aUb there had originated from them, 
modified under ditferent circumllances, a very important clafs of niinlirels 
and ilory-tellers, and with thefe the jougleurs of the weft were brought 
mto communication at the commencement of the crufades. There can 
be no doubt that a very large number of the ftories of the jougleurs 
were borrowed from the Eaft, for the evidence is furnillied by the ftories 
themfelves } and there can be little doubt alfo that the jougleurs 
improved themfelves, and underwent fome modification, by their inter- 
courfe with Eaftern performers of the fame clafs. 

On the other hand, we have traces of the exiftence of thefe popular 
ftories before the jougleurs can have had communication with the Eaft. 
Thus, as already mentioned, we find, compofed in Germany, apparently 
ui the tenth centur}', in rhythmical Latin, the well-known ftory of the 
wife of a merchant who bore a child during the long abfence of her 
hulband, and who excufed herfelf by ftating that her pregnancy had been 
the refult of fwaliowing a flake of fnow in a fnow-ftorm. This, and 
another of the fame kind, were evidently intended to be fung. Another 
poem in popular Latin verfe, which Grimm and Schmeller, who edited 
It,* believe may be of the eleventh century, relates a very amufing 
ftory of an adventurer named Unibos, who, continually caught in 
his own fnares, finifties by getting the better of all his enemies, and 
becoming rich, by mere ingenious cunning and good fortune. This ftory 
ii not met with among thofe of the jougleurs, as far as they are yet 
known, but, curioufly enough. Lover found it exifting orally among the 
Irifh pcafantry, and inferted the Irifti ftory among his " Legends of 
Ireland." It is a curious illuftration of the pertinacity with which the 
popular ftories defcend along with peoples through generations from thr 

* In a volume entitled "Lateinischc Gedichte des x. uiul xi. J';." ifvo. 
Gottingen, 1838. 

f 1 2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

remoteft ages of antiquity. The fame flory is found in an oriental form 
among the tales of the Tartars pubHshed in French by Guenlette. 

The people of the middle ages, who took their word falle from the 
IjZi'm falula, which they appear to have underftood as a mere term for 
any fhort narration, included under it the ftories told by the mimi and 
jongleurs ; but, in the fondnefs of the middle ages for diminutives, by 
which they intended to exprefs familiarity and attachment, applied to 
them more particularly the Latin falella, which in the old French 
htcame fal lei, or, more ufually,yaZ7/a«, The fabliaux of the jongleurs 
form a mofl important clafs of the comic literature of the middle ages. 
They muft have been wonderfully numerous, for a very large quantity of 
them ftill remain, and thefe are only the fmall portion of what once 
exifted, which have efcaped perifhing like the others by the accident of 
being written in manufcripts which have had the fortune to furvive 5 
while manufcripts containing others have no doubt perifhed, and it is 
probable that many were only preferved orally, and never written down 
at all.* The recital of thefe fabliaux appears to have been the favourite 
employment of the jongleurs, and they became fo popular that the 
mediaeval preachers turned them into fhort ftories in Latin profe, and 
made ufe of them as illuftrations in their fermons. Many colledions of 
thefe fhort Latin ftories are found in manufcripts which had ferved as 
note-books to the preachers,t and out of them was originally compiled 
that celebrated mediaeval book called the " Gefta Romanorum." 

It is to be regretted that the fubjefts and language of a large portion 
of thefe fabliaux are fuch as to make it impoflible to prefent them before 
modern readers, for they furnifh Angularly interefting and minute pi6lures 
of mediaeval life in all clafTes of fociety. Domeftic fcenes are among 
thofe mofl frequent, and they reprefent the interior of the mediaeval 

* Many of the Fabliaux have been printed, but the two principal collections, 
and to which I shall chiefly refer in the text, are those of Barbazan, re-edited 
and much enlarged by M6on, 4 vols. 8vo., 1808, and of Meon, 2 vols. 8vo., 1823. 

t A collection of these short Latin stories was edited by the author of the 
present work, in a volume printed for the Percy Society in 1842. 

in Literature a?id Art. i i 3 

houlehold in no favourable point of view. The majority of thefe tell 
loofe flories of hulbands deceived by their fair fpoufes, or of tricks played 
upon unfufpeding damfels. In fume inftances the treatment of the 
hulband is perhaps what may be called of a lefs objectionable chara6ter, 
as in the fabliau of La Vilain Mire (the clown do6lor), printed in 
Barbazan (iii. 1), which was the origin of Moliere's well-known comedy 
of " Le Medecin malgre lui." A rich peafant married the daughter of a 
poor knight 3 it was of courfe a marriage of ambition on his part, and of 
intereft on hers — one of thofe ill-forted matches which, according to feudal 
fentiments, could never be happy, and in which the wife was confidered 
as privileged to treat her hulband with all poflible contempt. In this 
inllance the lady hit upon an ingenious mode of puniiliing her hulband 
for his want of fubmiliion to her ill-treatment. MelVengers from the 
king pafled that way, feeking a Ikilful doftor to cure the king's daughter 
of a dangerous malady. The lady fecretly informed thefe meffengers 
that her hulband was a phyfician of extraordinary talent, but of au 
eccentric temper, for he would never acknowledge or exercife his art 
until lirft fubjeded to a le\ere beating. The hulband is feized, bound, 
and carried by force-to the king's coiirt, where, of courfe, he denies all 
knowledge of the healing art, but a fevere beating obliges him to com- 
pliance, and he is fuccefsful by a combination of impudence and chance. 
This is only the beginning of the poor man's miferies. Infl^ead of being 
allowed to go home, his fame has become fo great that he is retained at 
court for the public good, and, with a rapid fuccellion of patients, fearful 
of the refults of his confcious ignorance, he refufes them all, and is 
fubjefted in every cafe to the fame ill-treatment to force his compliance. 
The examples in which the hulband, on the other hand, outwits the wife 
are few. A fabliau by a poet who gives himfelf the name of Cortebarbe, 
printed alfo by Barbazan (iii. 398), relates how three blind beggars were 
deceived by a clerc, or fcholar, of Paris, who met tliLin on the road near 
Conipiegne. The clerk pretended to give the three beggars a bezant, 
which was then a good fum of money, and they hallened joyfully to the 
next tavern, where they ordered a plentiful fupper, and feallcd to their 
he»rts' content. But, in iiiQi, the clerk had not given thcin a bcz.uit at 


114 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

all, although, as. he faid he did ib, and they could only judge by their 
hearing, they imagined that they had the coin, and each thought that it 
was in the keeping of one of his companions. Thus, when the time of 
paying came, and the money was not forthcoming, in the common belief 
that one of the three had received the bezant and intended to keep it 
and cheat the others, they quarrelled violently, and from abufe foon 
came to blows. The landlord, drawn to the fpot by the uproar, and 
informed of the ftate of the cafe, accufed the three blind men of a 
confpiracy to cheat him, and demanded payment with great threats. 
The clerk of Paris, who had followed them to the inn, and taken his 
lodging there in order to witnefs the refult, delivered the blind men by 
an equally ingenious trick which he plays upon the landlord and the 
prieft of the parifh. 

Some of thefe ftories have for their fubjeft tricks playe^ among 
thieves. In one printed by Meon (i. 124), we have the ftory of a rich 
but fimple villan, or countryman, named Brifaut, who is robbed at 
market by a cunning fharper, and feverely corre6led by his wife for his 
careleflhefs. Robbery, both by force and by fleight of hand and craft, 
prevailed to an extraordinary degree during the middle ages. The plot 
of the fabliau of Barat and Haimet, by Jean de Boves (Barbazan, iv. 233),, 
turns upon a trial of Ikill among three robbers to determine who ftiall 
commit the clevereft a£t of thievery, and the refult is, at leafl, an 
extremely amufing ftory. It may be mentioned as an example of the 
numerous ftories which the jougleurs certainly obtained from the Eaft, 
that the well-known ftory of the Hunchback in the " Arabian Nights '* 
appears among them in two or three different forms. 

The focial vices of the middle ages, their general licentioufnefs, the 
prevalence of injullice and extortion, are very fully expofed to view in 
thefe compofitions, in which no clafs of fociety is fpared. The villan, or 
peafant, is always treated very contemptuoufly ; he formed the clafs from 
which the jougleur received leaft benefit. But the ariftocracy, the great 
barons, the lords of the foil, come in for their full fhare of fatire, and they 
no doubt enjoyed the ridiculous piftures of their own order. I will not 
venture to introduce the reader to female life in the baronial caftle, as it 

/// Literature and Art. 1 1 5 

appears in many of thefe ftories, and as it is no doubt truly painted, 
although, of courfe, in many inftances, much exaggerated. We have already 
feen how in the ftory of Reynard, the charader of mediaeval fociety was 
reprefented by the long ftruggle between brute force reprefented by the 
wolf, the emblem of the arillocratic clafs, and the low aftutenefs of the 
fox, or the unariftocratic clafs. The fuccefs of the craft of the human fox 
over the force of his lordly antagonift is often told in the fabliaux in 
ludicrous colours. In that of Trubert, printed by Moon (i. 192), the 
" duke " of a country, with his wife and family, become repeatedly the 
dupes of the grofs deceptions of a poor but impudent peafant. Thefe 
fatires upon the ariftocracy were no doubt greatly enjoyed by the good 
Inurgeoijie, who, in their turn, furnillied abundance of ftories, of the 
droUefi defcription, to provoke the mirth of the lords of the foil, between 
whom and ihemfelves there was a kind of natural antipathy. Nor are 
the clergy fpared. The prieft is ufually defcribed as living with a 
concubine — his order forbade marrj-ing — and both are confidered as 
fair game to the community j while the monk figures more frequently 
as the hero of gallant adventures. Both prieft and monk are ufually 
diftinguiihed by their felfifhnefs and love of indulgence. In the fabliau 
Du Bouchier d' Abbeville, in Barbazan (iv. 1), a butcher, on his way 
home from the fair, feeks a night's lodging at the houfe of an inhofpitable 
j)rieft, who refufes it. But when the former returns, and otTers, in 
exchange for his hofpitality, one of his fat Iheep which he has purchafed 
at the fair, and not only to kill it for their fupper, but to give all the 
meat they do not eat to his hoft, he is willingly received into the houfe, 
and they make an excellent fupper. By the promife of the Ikin of the 
iheep, the gueft fucceeds in feducing both the concubine and the maid- 
fer\ant, and it is only after his departure the following morning, in 
the middle of a domeftic uproar caufed by the conflifting claims of the 
prieft, the concubine, and the maid, to the poifeftion of the Ikin, that it 
is difcovered that the butcher had ftolen the llieep from the prieft"s own 

The fabliaux, as remarked before, form the moft important clafs of 
the 1'Xtcnfive maC* of the popular literature of the middle ages, and the 

1 1 6 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

writers, confident in their ftrong hold upon pubHc favour, fometimes turn 
round and burlefque the literature of other claffes, efpecially the long 
heavy monotony of ftyle of the great romances of chivalry and the 
extravagant adventures they contained, as though confcious that they 
were gradually underminmg the popularity of the romance writers. 
One of thefe poems, entitled " De Audigier," and printed in Barbazan 
(iv. 2i7)> is a parody on the romance writers and on their llyle, not 
at all wanting in fpirit or wit, but the fatire is coarfe and vulgar. 
Another printed in Barbazan (iv. 287), under the title "De Berengier," 
is a fatire upon a fort of knight-errantry which had found its way into 
mediaeval chivalry. Berengier was a knight of Lombardy, much given, to 
boalling, who had a beautiful lady for his wife. He ufed to leave her 
alone in his caftle, under pretext of fallying forth in fearch of chivalrous 
adventures, and, after a while, having well hacked his fword and lliield, 
he returned to vaunt the defperate exploits he had performed. But the 
lady was flirewd as well as handfome, and, having fome fufpicions of his 
truthfulnefs as well as of his courage, Ihe determined to make trial of 
both. One morning, when her hufband rode forth as ufual, llie haftily 
difguifed herfelf in a fuit of armour, mounted a good fteed, and hurrying 
round by a different way, met the boaftful knight in the middle of a 
wood, where he no fooner faw that he had to encounter a real affailant, 
than he difplayed the moll abje6t cowardice, and his opponent exafted 
from him an ignominious condition as the price of his efcape. On his 
return home at night, boafling as ufual of his fuccefs, he found his lady 
taking her revenge upon him in a ftill lefs refpedful manner, but he was 
filenced by her ridicule. 

The irouveres, or poets, who wrote the fabliaux — I need hardly 
remark that trouvere is the fame word as trobador, but in the northern 
dialed of the French language — appear to have flourilhed chiefly from 
the clofe of the twelfth century to the earlier part of the fourteenth. 
They all compofed in French, which was a language then common to 
England and France, but fome of their compofitions bear internal 
evidence of having been compofed in England, and others are found in 
contemporary manufcripts written in this ifland. The fcene of a fabliau, 

in Literature and Art. 1 1 7 

printed by Muon (i. 113), is laid at Colcheller ; and that of La Male 
Honte, printed in Barbazan (iii. 204), is laid in Kent. The latter, 
however, was written by a trouvere named Hugues de Cambrai. No 
objeftion appears to have been entertained to the recital of thefe 
licentious llories before the ladies of the caftle or of the domeftic circle, 
and their general popularity was fo great, that the more pious clergy 
feem to have thought neceffary to find 'bmething to take their place in 
the poft-prandial fociety of the monaftery, and efpecially of the nunnery; 
and religious ftories were written in the fame form and metre as the 
fabliaux. Some of thefe have been publiflied under the title of" Contes 
Devots," and, from their general dulnefs, it may be doubted if they 
anfwered their purpofe of furnilhing amufemcnt fo well as the others. 

1 1 8 Ilijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 









THE influence of the jongleurs over people's minds generally, with 
their ftories and fatirical pieces, their grimaces, their pollures, and 
their wonderful performances, was very confiderable, and may be eafily 
traced in mediaeval manners and fentiments. This influence would 
naturally be exerted upon inventive art, and when a painter had to adorn 
the margin of a book, or the fculptor to decorate the ornamental parts of 
a building, we might expeft the ideas which would firft prefent themfelves 
to him to be thofe fuggefl;ed by the jougleur"s performance, for the fame 
tafte had to be indulged in the one as in the other. The fame wit or 
fatire would pervade them both. 

Among the mofl. popular fubjefts of fatire during the middle ages, 
were domeftic fcenes. Domeflic life at that period appears to have been 
in its general charafter coarfe, turbulent, and, I fliould fay, anything 
but happy. In all its points of view, it prefented abundant fubjefts for 
iefl. and burlefque. There is little room for doubt that the Romifli 
Church, as it exifted in the middle ages, was extremely hoftile to 
domeftic happinefs among the middle and lower claffes, and that the 
interference of the prieft in the family was only a fource of domeftic 
trouble. The fatirical writings of the period, the popular tales, the 
difcourfes of thofe who fought rtform, even the pidures in the 

in Literature and Art. 


manufcripts and the Iculptures on the walls invariably reprefent 
the female portion of the family as entirely under the influence of the 
priefls, and that influence as exercifed for the worfl of purpofes. They 
encouraged faithlelfuels as well as difobedience in wives, and undermined 
the virtue of daughters, and were confequently regarded with anything 
but kindly feeling by the male portion of the population. The prieft, 
the wife, and the hulband, form the ufual leading charaders in a 
mediaeval farce. Subje£ts of this kind are not very unfrequent in the 
illuminations of manufcripts, and more efpecially in the fculptures of 
buildings, and thofe chiefly ecclefiaftical, in which monks or priefts are 

No. 71. ^i Aledia'val Kitchen Scene. 

introduced in very equivocal fituations. This part of the fubjed, however, 
is one into which we fliall not here venture, as we And the mediaeval 
caricaturifls drawing plenty of materials from tlie kfs vicious fliades of 
contemporary life ; and, in fa6t, fome of their moft amufing pi6tures are 
taken from the droll, rather than from the vicious, fcenes of the interior 
of the houfehold. Such fcenes are very frequent on the mifereres of the 
old cathedrals and collegiate churches. Thus, in the Halls at Worcefler 
Cathedral, there is a droll figure of a man feated before a fire in a 

1 20 Hijiory of Car teat lire and Grotefque 

No. 72. j4n Old Lady 
and her Friends. 

kitchen well ftored with flitches of bacon, he himfelf occupied in 
attending to the boiling pot, while he warms his feet, for which purpofe 

he has taken off his fhoes. In a fimilar carvina: 


in Hereford Cathedral, a man, alfo in the kitchen, 
is feen attempting to take liberties with the 
cook maid, who throws a platter at his head. A 
, copy of this curious fubje6t is given m cut No. 71, 
and the cut No. 72 is taken from a fimilar mife- 
rere in Minfter Church, in the Ifle of Thanet. It 
reprefents an old lady feated, occupied induftrioully 
in fpinning, and accompanied by her cats. 

We might eafily add other examples of 
fimilar fubjeds from the fame fources, fuch as 
the fcene in our cut No. 73, taken from one of 
the flails of Winchefl:er Cathedral, which feems to be intended to 
reprefent a witch riding away upon her cat, an enormous animal, whofe 

jovial look is only outdone by that of 
its miftrefs. The latter has carried her 
difl:aff with her, and is diligently 
employed in fpinning. A fi:all in Sher- 
borne Minfter, given in our cut No. 74, 
reprefents a fcene in a fchool, in wliicii 
an unfortunate fcholar is experiencing 
punilhment of a rather fevere defcrip- 
tion, to the great alarm of his com- 
panions, on whom his difgrace is evi- 
dently a6ting as a warning. The flog- 
ging fcene at fchool appears to have 
been rather a favourite fubje6i among 
the early caricaturifts, for the fcourge 
was looked upon in the middle ages as the grand ftimulant to fcholarlliip. 
In thofe good old times, when a man recalled to memory his fchoolboy 
days, he did not fay, " When I was at fchool," but, " When I was under 
the rod." 

No. 73. The Lady and her Cat. 

in Literature and Art, 


An extenfive field for the liudy of this intercfting part of our fubjeft 
will be found in the architeAural gallery in the Kcnfnigton Mufeum, 
which contains a large number of calls from ftalls and other fculptures. 

No. 74. Scholaftk Difcipime. 

chiefly felefted from the French cathedrals. One of thefc, engraved in 
our cut No. 75, reprefents a couple of females, feated before the kitcheii 
fire. The date of this fculpture is ftat^d to be 1382. To judge by their 

No. 75. A Pcinl in Difpute. 

looks and attitude, there is a difagreement between them, and the object 
in difpute feems to be a piece of meat, whic li one has taken out ot tlu- 
pot and placed on a dilli. This ladv wields her ladle as though fhj woro 

122 Hijiory of Caricature aiid Grotefqiie 

prepared to ufe it as a weapon, while her opponent is armed with tne 
bellows. The ale-pot was not unfrequently the fubjeft of pidures of a 
turbulent character, and among the grotefque and raonftrous figures in 
the margins of the noble manufcript of the fourteenth century, known as 
the ■' Luttrell Pililter," one reprefents two perfonages not only quarrelling 
over their pots, which they appear to have emptied, but aftually fighting 


No. 76. TVant of Harmony o-ver the Pot, 

with them. One of them has literally broken his pot over h:s 
companion's head. The fcene is copied in our cut No. 76. 

It mufl: be ftated, however, that the more common fubjeds of thefe 
homely fcenes are domeftic quarrels, and that the man, or his wife, 
enjoying their firefide, or fimilar bits of domeftic comfort, only make 
their appearance at rare intervals. Domeftic quarrels and combats 
are much more frequent. We have already feen, in the cut No. "tij, 
two dames of the kitchen evidentljf beginning to quarrel over their 
cookery. A ftall in the church of Stratford-upon-Avon gives us the 
group reprefented in our cut No. 77. The battle has here become 
defperate, but whether the male combatant be an opprefled hufband or 

/;/ Literature and Art, 


an impertinent intruder, is not clear. Iho quarrel wuuld Teem to ha\e 

arifen during the procels of cooking, as the female, who has feized her 

opponent by the beard, has evidently 

fnatched up the ladle a-, the readiell 

weapon at hand. The anger appears to 

be mainly on her fide, and the rather 

tame countenance of her antagonift 

contrails flrangely with lier inflamed 

features. Our next cut. No. 78, is 

taken from the fculpture of a column 

in Ely Cathedral, here copied from an 

engraving in Carter's " Specimens of 

Ancient Sculpture." A man and wife, 

apparently, are flruggling for the pof- 

fellion of a ftaft", which is perhaps in- 

.... . , ,- n No.TJ. Damejlic Strife. 

tended to be the emblem or maltery. 

As is generally reprefented to be the cafe in ihcfc fcenes of domellic 

No. 78. A Slrug^U for the Maftery, 

itrifc, the woman Ihows more enerj;y aii4 nion llrtngth than her 

124 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

opponent, and {he is evidently overcoming him. The maftery of the 
wife over the hulband feems to have been a univerlally acknowledged 
ftate of things. A ftall in Sherborne Minfter, in Dorfet, which has. 

i\^o. 79. The Wife in the AJcendant. 

furnilhed the fubje6t of our cut No. 79, might almoft be taken as the 
fequel of the laft cut. The lady has poflelfed herfelf of the ftaff, has 
overthrown her hufband, and is even linking him on the head with it 

No. 80. Violence Refjied. 

when he is down. In our next cut. No. 80, which is taken from one of 
the cafts of ftalls in the French cathedrals exhibited in the Kenfmgton 
Mufeam, it is not quite clear which of the two is the offender, but. 

in Literature an J Art. i 25 

perhaps, in this cale, the archer, as his prot'elHon is indicated by his bow 
and arrows, has made a gallant alTault, which, although fhe docs not look 
much difpleafed at it, the offended dame certainly refirts with fpirit. 

One idea conneded with this pidure of domeftic antagonifm appears 
to have been very popular from a rather early period. There is a 
proverbial phrafe to fignif'y that the wife is matter in the houfehold, by 
^vhich it is intimated that " llie wears the breeches." The phrafe is, it 
muft be confefled, an odd one, and is only half underflood by modern 
explanations; but in mediaeval llory we learn how " ilie " firft put in 
her claim to wear this particular article of drefs, how it was firft difputed 
and contefted, how (lie was at times defeated, but how, as a general rule, 
the claim was enforced. There was a French poet of the thirteenth 
century, Hugues Piaucelles, two of whofe falliaux, or metrical tales, 
entitled the " Fabliau d'Eftourmi," and the " Fabliau de Sire Hains et de 
Dame Anieufe," are preferved in manufcript, and have been printed 
in the coUedtion of Barbazan. The fecond of thefe relates fome of the 
adventures of a mediaeval couple, whole houfehold was not the beft 
regulated in the world. The name of the heroine of this ftory, Anieufe, 
is fimply an old form of the French word ennuycufe, and certainly dame 
Anieufe was fufficiently " ennuyeufe " to her lord and hulband, " Sire 
Hains," her hufband, was, it appears, a maker of" cottes " and mantles, 
and we fhould judge alfo, by the point on which the quarrel turned, that 
he was partial to a good dinner. Dame Anieufe was of that difagreeable 
temper, that whenever Sire Hains told her of fome particularly nice 
thing which he wilhed her to buy for his meal, flie bought inftead fomc- 
thing which llie knew was difagreeable to him. If he ordered boiled 
meat, flie invariably roafted it, and further contrived that it fliould be lu 
covered with cinders and aflies that he could not cat it. This would 
Ihow that people in the middle ages (except, perhaps, profeftional cooks) 
were very unapt at roafting meat. This ftate of things had gone on for 
fome time, when one day Sire Hains gave orders to his wife to buy him 
fifh for his dinner. The difobedient wife, inftead of buying filh, provided 
nothing for his meal but a dilh of fj)inage, telling him falfcly that all the 
Tilh iLuik. This leads to a violent quarrel, in which, after fome fierce 

126 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

wrangling, efpecially on the part of the lady, Sire Hains propofes to 
decide their difference in a novel manner. " Early in the morning," he 
faid, " I will take off my breeches and lay them down in the middle of 
the court, and the one who can win them iliall be acknowledged to be 
mafter or miftrefs of the houfe." 

Le matinet, fans contredire, 
J^oudrai mes iraies defchaucierf 
Et enmi nojlre cort couchier • 
Et qui conquerre les porra. 
Par hone refon mouflerra 
S^ti'il ert fire ou dame du nojlre. 

Barbazan, Fabliaux, tome iii. p. 383. 

Dame Anieufe accepted the challenge with eagernefs, and each prepared 
for the ftruggle. After due preparation, two neighbours, friend Symon 
and Dame Aupais, having been called in as witneffes, and the obje6l of 
difpute, the breeches, having been placed on the pavement of the court, 
the battle began, with fume flight parody on the formalities of the 
judicial combat. The firfl blow was given by the dame, who was fo 
eager for the fray that fhe ftruck her hufband before he had put himfelf 
on his guard ; and the war of tongues, in which at leaft Dame Anieufe 
had the beft of it, went on at the fame time as the other battle. Sire 
Hains ventured a flight expoftuiation on her eagernefs for the fray, in 
anfwer to which llie only threw in his teeth a fierce defiance to do his 
worft. Provoked at this. Sire Hains ftruck at her, and hit her over the 
eyebrows, fo eflfeftively, that the Ikin was difcolou ed ; and, over-confident 
in the effe6t of this firft blow, he began rather too foon to exult over his 
wife's defeat. But Dame Anieufe was lefs difconcerted than he expedled, 
and recovering quickly from the effeft of the blow, (lie turned upon him 
and ftruck him on the fame part of his face with fuch force, that ftie 
nearly knocked him over the fheepfold. Dame Anieufe, in her turn, 
now fneered over him, and while he was recovering from his confufion, 
her eyes fell upon the obje6l of contention, and fhe rufhed to it, and laid 
her hands upon it to carry it away. This movement roufed Sire Hains, 
who inftanrly feized another part of the article of his drefs of which he 

in Literature and Art. 


was thus in danger of being deprived, and began a ftruggle for pollcllion, 
in which the laid article underwent conliderable dilapidation, and 
fragments ot" it were fcattered over the court. In the midft of this 
llruggle the aftual fight recommenced, by the hulband giving his wife fo 
/jeavy a blow on the teeth that her mouth was filled with blood. The 
effedt was fuch that Sire Hains already reckoned on the vidlory, and 
proclaimed himlelf lord of the breeches. 

Hains fiert fa fame enmi /« den^ 
Tel cop, que la boucfie deden^ 
Li a tiute emplie de fancz, 
" Tien ore,"'' diji Sire Hains, '^ anc, 
ye cuit que je t^ai hien alainle. 
Or fai-je de deux colors tainte — 
'J^aurai les braies toutei "votes ."" 

But the immediate etiedl on Dame Anieufe was only to render her more 
defperate. She quitted her hold on the difputed garment, and \A\ upon 
her hulband with I'uch a fhower of blows that he hardly knew uhich way 
to turn. She was thus, however, unconlcioufly exhaufting herfelf, and 
Sire Hains loon recovered. The battle now became fiercer than ever, and 
the lady feemed to be gaining the upper hand, when Sire Hains gave her 
a Ikilfiil blow in the ribs, which nearly broke one of them, and confider- 
ably checked her ardour. Friend Symon here interpofed, with the praile- 
worthy aim of reftoring peace before further harm might be done, but in 
vain, for the lady was only rendered more obftinate by her mifhap; and he 
agreed that it was ufelels lo interfere until one had got a more decided 
advantage over the other. The fight therefore went on, the two com- 
batants having now leized each other by the iiair of the head, a mode of 
combat in which the advantages were rather on tlie fide of tlie male. 
At this moment, one of the judges, Dame Aupais, lympathiling too nuu h 
with Dame Anieufe, ventured fome words of encouragement, which 
drew upon her a fevere rebuke from her colleague, Symon, who inilniati d 
that if (lie interfered again there might be two pairs of combatants 
infiead (jf one. Meanwhile Dame Anieufe was becoming exhaufied. and 
WAS evidently getting the worft of the contelt, until at length, daggering 

128 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

from a vigorous pufti, Ihe fell back into a large baiket which lay behind 
her. Sire Hains flood over her exultingly, and Symon, as umpire, 
pronounced him vi£torious. He thereupon took poffeflion of the difputed 
article of raiment, and again invefted himfelf with it, while the lady 
accepted faithfully the conditions impofed upon her, and we are aflured 
by the poet that fhe was a good and obedient wife during the reft of hei 
life. In this ftory, which affords a curious picture of mediaeval life, we 
learn the origin of the proverb relating to the pofTeffion and wearing of 
the breeches. Hugues Piaucelles concludes hlsfalliau by recommending 
every man who has a difobedient wife to treat her in the fame manner; 
and mediaeval hufbands appear to have followed his advice, without fear 
of laws againft the ill-treatment of women. 

A fubje6t like this was well fitted for the burlefques on the ftalls, and 
accordingly we find on one of thofe in the cathedral at Rouen, the group 
given in our cut No. 8i, which feems to reprefent the part of the ftory 

No. 8i. T/ie Fight for the Breeches. 

in which both combatants feize hold of the difputed garment, and 
ftruggle for pofleflion of it. The hufband here grafps a knife in his 
hand, with which he feems to be threatening to cut it to pieces rather 
than give it up. The fabliau gives the vi6tory to the hufband, but the 
wife was generally confidered as in a majority of cafes carrying off the 
prize. In an extremely rare engraving by the Flemifli artift Van Mecken, 
dated in 1480, of which I give a copy in our cut No. 82. the lady, while 

in Literature and Art. 


putting on the breeches, of which (he has juft become polTelVed, ihows 
an inchnation to lord it rather tyrannically over her other half, whom flie 
has condemned to perform the domeftic drudgery of the manlion. 

No. 82. The Breeches Won. 

In Germany, where there was ftill more roughnefs in mediaeval life, 
what was told in England and France as a good ftory of domeftic doings, 
was actually carried into pra6tice under the authority of the laws. The 
judicial duel was there adopted by the legal authorities as a mode of 
fettling the differences between hulband and wife. Curious particulars on 
this fubjedt are given in an interefting paper entitled " Some obfervations 
on Judicial Duels as praftifed in Germany," publiflaed in the twenty- 
ninth volume of the Archaeologia of the Society of Antiquaries (p. 348). 
Ihefe obfervations are chiefly taken from a volume of dire6tions, accom- 
panied with drawings, for the various modes of attack and defence, 
compiled by Paulus Kail, a celebrated teacher of defence at the court of 
Bavaria about the year 1400. Among thefe drawings we have one 
reprefenting the mode of combat between hulband and wife. The only 
weapon allowed the female, but that a very formidable one, was, 
according to thefe directions, a heavy ftone wrapped up in an elongation 
of l»er cbemife, while her opponent had only a fliort ftalf, and he was 
•placed up to the waill in a pit formed in the ground. The following 


130 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

is a literal tranllation of the direttions given in the manulcript, and 
our cut No. 83 is a copy of the drawing which illuftrates it : — 
" The woman muft be fo prepared, that a fleeve of her chemife extend 
a fmall ell beyond her hand, like a little fack ; there indeed is put 
a ftone weighing three pounds ; and fhe has nothing elfe but her 

A'^p. 83. yl Legal Combat. 

chemife, and that is bound together between the legs with a lace. 
Then the man makes himfelf ready in the pit over againft his wife. 
He is buried therein up to the girdle, and one hand is bound at 
the elbow to the fide." At this time the practice of fuch combats in 
Germany feems to have been long known, for it is ftated that in the 
year 1200 a man and his wife fought under the fandlion of the civic 
authorities at Bale, in Switzerland. In a pi6ture of a combat between 
man and wife, from a manufcript refembling that of Paulus Kail, 
but executed nearly a century later, the man is placed in a tub inilead 
of a pit, with his left arm tied to his fide as before, and his right holding 
a fhort heavy fiaffj while the woman is drefled, and not ftripped to the 

/;/ Literature and Art. 131 

chemife, as in the former cafe. The man appears to be holding the 
flick in fuch a manner that the fling in which the flone was contained 
would twift round it, and the woman would thus be at the mercy of her 
opponent. 'In an ancient manufcript on the fcience of defence in the 
library at Gotha, the man in the tub is reprefented as the conqueror 
of his wife, having thus dragged her head-foremoft into the tub, where 
{he appears with her legs kicking up in the air. 

This was the orthodox mode of combat between man and wife, 
but it was fometimes pradifed under more fanguinary forms. In 
one pifture given from thefe old books on the fcience of defence by 
the writer of the paper on the fubjeft in the Archaeologia, the two 
combatants, naked down to the waift, are reprefented fighting with 
fharp knives, and inflicting upon each other's bodies frightful gaflies. 

A feries of flail carvings at Corbeil, near Paris, of which more will 
be faid a little farther on in this chapter, has furnilhed the curious grcuj) 
reprefented in our cut No. 84, which is one of the rather rare pidoriaj 

A'o. 84. The H'hch and the Demon. 

alli fions to the fubjed of witchcraft. It reprefents a woman who rnuft, 
by her occupation, be a witch, for flie has fo far got the maliery of the 
demon that llie is fawing off his head with a very nncomfonable looking 

132 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

inftrument. Another flory of witchcraft is told in the fculpture of a 
ftone panel at the entrance of the cathedral of Lyons, which is repre- 
fented in our cut No. 8^. One power, fuppofed to be pofTeffed by 
witches, was that of transforming people to animals at will. William of 
Malmefbury, in his Chronicle, tells a flory of two witches in the 

No. 85. The Witch and her Viaim. 

neighbourhood of Rome, who ufed to allure travellers into their cottage, 
and there transform them into horfes, pigs, or other animals, which they 
fold, and feafted themfelves with the money. One day a young man, 
who lived by the profeflion of a jougleur, fought a night's lodging at 
their cottage, and was received, but they turned him into an afs, and, as 
he retained his underftanding and his power of afting, they gained much 
money by exhibiting him. At length a rich man of the neighbourhood, 
who wanted him for his private amufement, otfered the two women a 
large fum for him, which they accepted, but they warned the new 
polTelfor of the afs that he Ihould carefully reflrain him from going into 
the water, as that would deprive him of his power of performing. The 
man who had purchafed the afs a6led upon this advice, and carefully kept 
him from water, but one day, through the negligence of his keeper, the 

in Literature and Art. 133 

afs efcaped from his ftable, and, milling to a pond at no great dillance, 
threw hiraleh' into it. Water — and running water efpecially — was 
believed to dellroy the power of witchcraft or magic j and no fooner was 
the afs immerfed in the water, than he recovered his original form of a 
young man. He told his ftory, ^\■hich foon reached the ears of the pope, 
and the two women were feized, and confelied their crimes. The 
car\ing from Lyons Cathedral appears to reprefent fome fuch fcene of 
forcery. The naked woman, evidently a witch, is, perliaps, feated on a 
man whom (he has transformed into a goat, and Ihe feems to be 
whirling the cat over him in fuch a manner that it may tear his face 
with its claws. 

There was ftill another clafs of fubjefts for fatire and caricature which 
belongs to this part of our fubje£t — I mean that of the trader and 
manufa6turer. We mull not fuppofe that fraudulent trading, that 
deceptive and imperfeft workmanlhip, that adulteration of everything 
that could be adulterated, are peculiar to modern times. On the 
contrar)', there was no period in the world's hillory in which diihoneft 
dealing was carried on to fuch an extraordinary extent, in which there 
was fo much deception ufed in manufadures, or in which adulteration 
was pra6tifed on lo fliamelefs a fcale, as during the middle ages. Thefe 
vices, or, as we may, perhaps, more properly defcribe them, thefe crimes, 
are often mentioned in the mediaeval writers, but they were not 
eafily reprefented pidorially, and therefore we rarely meet with dire6t 
allufions to them, either in fculpture, on ftone or wood, or in the paintings 
of illuminated manufcripts. Reprefentations of the trades themfelves 
are not fo rare, and are fometimes droll and almoll burlefque. A 
curious feries of fuch reprefentations of arts and trades was carved 
on the mifereres of the church of St. Spire, at Corbeil, near Paris, 
which only exift now in Millin's engravings, but they feem to have 
been works of the fifteenth century. Among them the tirll place 
in given to the various occupations necelfary for the produ6tion of bread, 
that article fo important to the fupport of life. Thus we fee, in thelc 
canings at Corbeil, the labours of the reaper, cutting the wheat and 
f(jrniing it into Iheaves, the miller carrying it away to be ground into 

I 34 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

meal, and the baker thrufting it into the oven, and drawing it out in the 
Ihape of loaves. Our cut No. 86, taken from one of thefe fculptures, 
reprefents the baker either putting in or taking out the bread with his 

No. 86, A Baker of the Fifteenth Century. 

peel ; by the earnefi: manner in which he looks at it, we may fuppofe 
that it is the latter, and that he is afcertaining if it be fufficiently baked. 
We have an earlier reprefentation of a mediaeval oven in our cut No. 87, 

taken from the celebrated illu- 
minated manufcript of the "Ro- 
mance of Alexandre," in the 
Bodleian Library at Oxford, 
which appears to belong to an 
early period of the fourteenth 
century. Here the baker is evi- 
dently going to take a loaf out 
of the oven, for his companion 

holds a dilh for the purpofe of 
No. 87. A Media-vai Baker. ... 

.receivmg it. 
In nothing was fraud and adulteration pradifed to fo great an extent 

in Literature and Art. 135 

as in the important article of bread, and the two occupations efpecially 
employed in making it were objeds of very great diilike and of fcornful 
fatire. The miller was proverbially a thief. Every reader of Chaucer 
will remember his charadter fo admirably drawn in that of the miller of 
Trumpington, who, though he was as proud and gay " as eny pecok," 
was neverthelefs eminently diflioneft. 

A theef he luasferfoth of corn and mele. 

And that a Jleigh (^ly), and ujyng (practised) yir to fttle. 

Chaucer's Beeves Tale. 

This pra6tice included a large college then exifting in Cambridge, but 
now forgotten, the Soler Hall, which fuflered greatly by his depredations. 

And on a day it happed in a Jlounde, 

Syi lay the mauncyp/c on a maledye. 

Men "wenden zviJJy that he jchulde dye ; 

For "which this meller Jial hot he mele and corn 

A thoufend part more than byforn. 

For ther biforn he Jial but curteyjly ; 

But nozu he is a theef outrageoujly. 

For ivhich the ivardeyn chidde and made fare. 

But theroffette the meller not a tare ; 

He crakked hooji, andfwor it ivas natfo. 

Two of the fcholars of this college refolved to go with the corn to the 
mill, and by their watchfuJnefs prevent his depredations. Thofe who are 
acquainted with the (lory know how the fcholars fucceeded, or rather 
how they failed ; how the miller ftole half a builiel of their flour and 
caufed his wife to make a cake of it ; and how the vidims had their 
revenge and recovered the cake. 

As already dated, the baker had in thefe good old times no better 
character than the miller, if not worfe. There was an old faying, that if 
three perfons of three obnoxious profcllions were put together in a fack 
and (haken up, the firft who came out would certainly be a rogue, and 
one of thefe was a baker. Moreover, the opinion concerning the baker 
was fo ftrong that, as in the phrafe taken from the old legends of the 
witches, who in their feflivals fat thirteen at a table, this number was 

136 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

popularly called a devil's dozen, and was believed to be unlucky — fo, 
when the devil's name w^as abandoned, perhaps for the fake of euphony, 
the name fubftituted for it was that of the baker, and the number 
thirteen was called " a baker's dozen." The makers of nearly all forts 
of provifions for fale were, in the middle ages, tainted with the fame 
vice, and there was nothing from which fociety in general, efpecially in 
the towns where few made bread for therafelves, fuffered fo much. 
This evil is alluded to more than once in that curious educational treatife, 
the " Diftionarius " of John de Garlande, printed in my "Volume of 
Vocabularies." This writer, who wrote in the earlier half of the thirteenth 
century, infinuates that the makers of pies {paftillarii) , an article of food 
which was greatly in repute during the middle ages, often made ufe of 
bad eggs. The cooks, he fays further, fold, efpecially in Paris to the 
fcholars of the univerfity, cooked meats, faufages, and fuch things, 
which were not fit to eat j while the butchers furnillied the meat of 
animals which had died of difeafe. Even the fpices and drugs fold by 
the apothecaries, or epiciers, were not, he fays, to be trufled. John de 
Garlande had evidently an inclination to fatire, and he gives way to it 
not unfrequently in the little book of which I am fpeaking. He fays 
that the glovers of Paris cheated the fcholars of the univerfity, by felling 
them gloves made of bad materials ; that the women who gained theii 
living by winding thread {devacuatrices, in the Latin of the time), not only 
emptied the fcholars' purfes, but walled their bodies alfo (it is intended as 
a pun upon the Latin word) ; and the huckflers fold them unripe fruit 
for ripe. The drapers, he fays, cheated people not only by felling bad 
materials, but by meafuring them with falfe meafures ; while the hawkers, 
who went about from houfe to houfe, robbed as well as cheated. 

M. Jubinal has publilhed in his curious volume entitled "Jongleurs 
et Trouveres," a rather jocular poem on the bakers, written in French of, 
perhaps, the thirteenth century, in which their art is lauded as much 
better and more ufeful than that of the goldfmith's. The millers' 
depredations on the corn fent to be ground at the mill, are laid to the 
charge of the rats, which attack it by night, and the hens, which find 
their way to it by day; and he explains the diminution the bakings 

/// Literature and Art. 1 3 7 

experienced in the hands of the baker as ariling out of tlie charity of I he 
latter towards the poor and needy, to whom they gave the meal and 
pafte before it had even been put into the oven. The celebrated Englilh 
poet, John Lydgate, in a fhort poem preferved in a manufcript in the 
Harleian Library in the Britiih Mufeum (MS. Harl. No. ^,^y^„ 
fol. 157, v°), defcribes the pillory, which he calls their Baftile, as 
the proper heritage of the miller and the baker: — 

Fut out his hed, lyft nat for to dare. 

But lyk a man upon that tour to abyde. 
For cafl of eggys loil not oonys Jpare, 

Tyl he be quallyd body, bai, andjyde. 

His heed endooryd, and of -verray pryde 
Put out his armys, fhetuith abrood his face ; 

The fenejlrallys be made J or hym fo ivyde^ 
Claymyth to been a capteyn of that place. 

The bajiyle longith of "vtrray dcwe ryght 

To fals bakerys, it is trcwe herytage 
Se^eralle to them, this knoiueth e-very luyght^ 

Be kynde affygned for thcr fttyng Jiage ; 

JVheer they may freely pewe out ther •vifage^ 
Whan they tak oonys their poffeffioun, 

Oivthir in youthc or in myddyl age ; 
Men doon hem ivrong yif they take hym down. 

Lit mellerys and bakerys gadre hem a gilde, 

u4nd alle of ajjent make a fraternite', 
Undir the pillory a Ictil chapelle bylde. 

The place amorieyje, and purchaje lyberte. 

For alle thos that of ther noumbre be ; 
JVhat e'vir it cocji afftir that they ivende. 

They may clayme, be juft au&orite\ 
Upon that bafiile to make an ende. 

The wine-dealer and the publican formed another clafs in medijeva! 
fociety who lived by fraud and diflionefty, and were the obje6ts of fatire. 
The latter gave both bad wine and bad meafure, and he often alfo a£led 
as a pawnbroker, and when j)eople had drunk more than they could pay 
for, he would take their clothes as pledges for their money. The tavern, 
-in the middle ages, was the refort of very mifcellaneous company ; 

138 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

gamblers and loofe women were always on the watch there to lead more 
honeft people into ruin, and the tavern-keeper profited largely by their 
gains; and the more vulgar minllrel and " jogelour " found employment 
there ; for the middle clafles of fociety, and even their betters, frequented 
the tavern much more generally than at the prefent day. In the carved 
flails of the church of Corbeil, the liquor merchant is reprefented by the 
figure of a man wheeHng a hoglhead in a barrow, as fhown in our cut 
No. 88. The gravenefs and air of importance with which he regards it 

iVo. 88. Ihe Wtne Dealer. 

would lead us to fuppofe that the barrel contains wme ; and the cup and 
jug on the Ihelf above Ihow that it was to be fold retail. The wme- 
fellers called out their wines from their doors, and -boafted of their 
qualities, in order to tempt people in j and John de Garlande affures us 
that when they entered, they were ferved with wine which was not 
worth drinking. "The criers of wine," he fays, "proclaim with 
extended throat the diluted wine they have in their taverns, offering 
it at four pennies, at fix, at eight, and at twelve, frefh poured out 
from the gallon cafk into the cup, to tempt people." ("Volume of 
Vocabularies,"' p. 126.) The ale-wife was an efpecial fubje6t of jell 

in Literature and Art. 


and latire, and is not unfrequently reprefented on the pittorial 
monuments of our forefathers. Our cut No. 89 is taken from one of the 

A",. 8y. Tne AU-iyij'c. 

mifereres m the church of WelHngborough, in Northamptonihire ; tlie 
ale-wife is pouring her hquor from her jug 
mto a cup to ferve a rullic, who appears 
to be waiting for it with impatience. 

The figure of the ale-drawer. No. 90, is 
taken from one of the mifereres in the 
parifh church of Ludlow, in Shroplhire. 
The fize of his jug is fomewhat difpropor- 
tionate to that of the barrel from which 
he obtains the ale. The fame mifereres 
of Ludlow Church furnifh the next fcene, 
cut No. 91, which reprefents the end of 
the wicked ale-wife. The day of judgment 

C r J . u I 1 ii t No.QO. The Ale-Draiver. 

IS luppcled to have arrived, and Ok- has 

rtyeived her fentencc. A demon, feated on one fide, is reading a lifl ot 

1 40 Hijlory of Caricature aftd Grotefque 

the crimes flie has committed^ which the magnitude of the parchment 
Ihows to be a rather copious one. Another demon (whofe head has 
been broken off in the original) carries on his back, in a verv irreverent 
manner, the unfortunate lady, in order to throw her into hell- 
mouth, on the other fide of the pidure. She is naked with the 
exception of the fafhionable head-gear, which formed one of her vanities 

iV'o. 91 . The Ale-Wife's End. 

in the world, and Ihe carries witli her the falfe meafure with which the 
cheated her cuftomers. A demon bagpiper welcomes her on her arrival. 
The fcene is full of wit and humour. 

The ruftic dalles, and inI1:ances of their rufticity, are not unfrequently 
met with in thefe interefting carvings. The flails of Corbeil prefent 
feveral agricultural fcenes. Our cut No. 92 is taken from thofe of 
Gloucefter cathedral, of an earlier date, and reprefents the three 
fhepherds, aflonilhed at the appearance of the liar which announced the 
birth of the Saviour of mankind. Like the three kings, the Ihepherds 
to whom this revelation was made were always in the middle ages 
reprefented as three in number. In our drawing from the miferere in 
Gloucefter cathedral, the coftume of the Ihepherds is remarkably well 

in Literature and Art. 


depi6ted, even to the details, with the various implements appertaining 
to their prot'ellion, molt of which are fufpended to their girdles. They 
are drawn with much Ipirit, and even the dog is well reprefented as 
an efpecially attive partaker in the fcene. 

No, 92. The Shepherd: of the Eaji. 

Of the two other examples we fele6t from the mifereres of Corbeil, 
the firrt reprefents the carpenter, or, as he was commonly called by our 
Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval forefathers, the uright, which fignifies fimply 
the "maker." The application of this higher and more general term — 
For the Almighty himfelf is called, in the Anglo-Saxon poetry, calid 
gefcefta ivyrhta, the Maker, or Creator, of all things — Ihows how 
important an art that of the carpenter was confidered in the middle ages. 
Everything made of wood came within his province. In the Anglo- 
Saxon " Collo(juy " of archbifhop Alfric, where feme of the more ufcful 
artifans are introduced difputing about the relative value of their feveral 
crafts, the " wright " fays, "Who of you can do wiihuut my craft, fince 
I make houfes and all forts of veffels {vafa), ami lliips for you all ?" 
("Volume of Vocabularies," j). 11.) And Jolui de Garlande, in the 
thirteenth century, defcribes the carpenter as making, among othei 
things, tubs, and barrels, and wine-cades. The workmanlhii) of thoft 
rime* wa» exercifed, before all other materials, on wood ami luitals, and 

142 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefquc 

the Wright, or worker in the former material, was diftinguillied by this 

No. 93. The Carpenter. 

■circumftance from the fmith, or worker in metal. The carpenter is ftill 
called a wright in Scotland. Our laft cut (No. 94), taken alfo from one 

No. 94. The Shoemaker. 

of the mifereres at Corbeil, reprefents the Ihoemaker, or as he was then 

in Literature and Art. 143 

ufually called, the cordwainer, becaufe the leather which he chiefly uled 
came from Coidova in Spain, and was thence called ,r)rde-ican, or 
ccrdewaine. Our ihoemaker is engaged in cutting a Ikin t)t leather with 
an inrtrument of a rather lingular form. Shoes, and pert aps forms foi 
making llioes, are fufpended on pegs againfl the wall. 

1 44 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 









THE grimaces and ilrange poftures of the jougleurs feem to have had 
great attratlions for thofe who witnefTed them. To unrefined and 
uneducated minds no objett conveys fo perfect a notion of mirth as an 
ugly and diftorted face. Hence it is that among the common peafantry 
at a country fair few exhibitions are more fatisfadory than that of 
grinning through a horfe-collar. This fentiment is largely exemplified 
in the fculpture efpecially of the middle ages, a long period, during 
which the general charafter of fociety prefented that want of refinement 
which we now obferve chiefly in its leafi cultivated claffes. Among the 
moll common decorations of our ancient churches and other mediaeval 
buildings, are grotefque and monitrous heads and faces. Antiquity, which 
lent us the types of many of thefe luunftrofities, faw in her Typhous and 
Gorgons a fignification beyond the furface of the pidure, and her 
grotefque mafks had a general meaning, and were in a manner typical of 
the whole field of comic literature. The malk was lefs an individual 
grotefque to be laughed at for itfelf, than a perfonification of comedy. 
In the middle ages, on the contrary, although in fome cafes certain forms 
were often regarded as typical of certain ideas, in general the defign 
extended no farther than the forms which the artift had given to it ; the 

in Liter at lire and Art. 145 

grotefque featares, like the grinning through the horfe-collar, gave 
fatisfadion by their mere ughnels. Even the applications, when fuch 
figures were intended to have one, were coarfely fatirical, without any 
intelleftuality, and, where they had a meaning beyond the plain text of 
the fcuipture or drawing, it was not far-fetched, but plain and eafiN 
underrtood. When the Anglo-Saxon drew the face of a bloated and 
disfigured monk, he no doubt intended thereby to proclaim the popular 
notion of the general chara6ler of monaftic life, but this was a defiga 
which nobody could mifunderftand, an interpretation which everybody 
was prepared to give to it. We have already feen various examples of 
this defcription of fatire, fcattered here and there among the immcnfe 
ma(s of grotefque fculpture which has no fuch meaning. A great 
proportion, indeed, of thefe grotefque fculptures appears to prefent mere 
variations of a certain number of di(lin6t types which had been handed 
down from a remote period, feme of them borrowed, perhaps involuntarily, 
from antiquity. Hence we naturally look for the earlier and more 
curious examples of this clafs of art to Italy and the fouth of France, 
where the tranfition from claflical to mediaeval was more gradual, and 
the continued influence of claflical forms is more eafily traced. The 
early Chriftian mafons appear to have caricatured under the form of fuch 
grotefques the perfonages of the heathen mythology, and to this praftice 
we perhaps owe fome of the types of the mediaeval monflers. We have 
feen in a former chapter a grotefque from the church of Monte Majour, 
near Nifmes, the original type of which had evidently been Ibme 
burlcfque figure of Saturn eating one of his children. The clallical 
mafk doubtlefi furnifhed the type for thofe figures, fo common in 
mediaeval fculpture, of faces with difproportionately large mouths j jiill 
as another favourite clafs of grotefque faces, thofe with diflended mouths 
and tongues lolling out, were taken originally from the Typhous and 
Gorgons of the ancients. Many other popular types of faces rendered 
artificially ugly are mere exaggerations of the diltortions produced on the 
features by different operations, liu h, f(^r inltance, as of blowuig 
a horn. 

The pradice of blowing the liorn, is, indeed, peculiarly calculated to 


146 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

exhibit tlie features of the face to difadvantage, and was not overlooked 
by the defigners of the mediaeval decorative fculpture. One of the largp 
colle6tion of cafts of fculptures from French cathedrals exhibited in th'^ 
mufeum at South Kenfington, has furnifhed the two fubjefts given in our 
cut No. 95. The firft is reprefented as blowing a horn, but he is 

No. 95. Grotefque Monjiers. 

producing the greateft poflible diftortion in his features, and efpecially m 
his mouth, by drawing the horn forcibly on one fide with his left hand, 
while he pulls his beard in the other dire6tion with the right hand. The 
force with which he is fuppofed to be blowing is perhaps reprefented by 
the form given to his eyes. The face of the lower figure is in at leaft 
comparative repofe. The defign of reprefenting general diftortion in the 
firft is further fhown by the ridiculoufly unnatural pofition of the arms. 
Such diftortion of the members was not unfrequently introduced to 
heighten the. effeft of the grimace in the face ; and, as in thefe 
examples, it was not uncommon to introduce as a further element ot 
grotefque, the bodies, or parts of the bodies, of animals, or even of 

/;/ Literature and Art. 


Another caft in the Kenfington Muleum is the lubje6t of GUI' rut 
No. 96, which prefents the fame idea of ftretching the mouth. The 
fubjed is here exhibited by another rather mirthful looking individual, 
but whether the exhibitor is intended to be a goblin or demon, or 

No. 96. Diabolical Mirth. 

whether he is merely furniftied with the wings and claws of a bat, feems 
rather uncertain. The bat was looked upon as an unpropitious if not an 
unholy animal ; like the owl, it was the companion of the witches, and 
of the fpirits of darknefs. The group in our cut No. 97 is taken from 

No. 97. Making Facts. 

one of the carved flails m the church of Stratford-upon-Avon, and 
rcprefcnts a trio of grimacers. The firll of thefe three grotefque facee is 
Killing out the tongue to an extravagant length ; the fecond is fimply 
grinning ; while the third has taken a faufage between his teclii to 

148 HiJIory of Caricature and Grotefque 

render his grimace ftill more ridiculous. The number and variety of 
fuch grotefque faces, which we find fcattered over the architedural 
decoration of our old ecclefiaftical buildings, are fo great that I will not 
attempt to give any more particular claflification of them. All this 
church decoration was calculated efpecially to produce its efFe6i upon the 
middle and lower claffes, and mediaeval art was, perhaps more than any- 
thing elfe, fuited to mediaeval fociety, for it belonged to the mafs and not 
to the individual. The man who could enjoy a match at grinning 
through horfe -collars, mufl have been charmed by the grotefque works of 
the mediaeval ftone fculptor and wood carver ; and we may add that thefe 
difplay, though often rather rude, a very high degree of Ikili in art, a 
great power of producing ftriking imagery. 

Thefe mediaeval artifts loved alfo to produce horrible objefts as well as 
laughable ones, though even in their horrors they were continually 
running into the grotefque. Among the adjunfts to thefe fculptured 
figures, we fometimes meet with inftruments of pain, and very talented 
attempts to exhibit this on the features of the viftims. The creed of the 
middle ages gave great fcope for the indulgence of this tafle in the 
infinitely varied terrors of purgatory and hell 3 and, not to fpeak of 
the more crude defcriptions that are fo common in mediaeval popular 
literature, the account to which thefe defcriptions might be turned by the 
poet as well as the artifl are well known to the reader of Dante. Coils 
of ferpents and dragons, which were the mofi: ufual inftruments in the 
tortures of tlie infernal regions, were always favourite obje6ts in mediaeval 
ornamentation, whether fculptured or drawn, in the details of architedural 
decoration, or m the initial letters and margins of books. They are often 
combined in forming grotefque tracery with the bodies of animals or of 
human beings, and their movements are generally hoftile to the latter. 
We have already feen, in previous chapters, examples of this ufe of 
ferpents and dragons, dating from the earlieft periods of mediaeval art ; 
and it is perhaps the moft common flyle of ornamentation m the 
ouildings and illuminated manufcripts in our iHand from the earlier 
Saxon times to the thirteenth century. This ornamentation is fometimes 
llrikingly bold and effe6tive. In the cathedral of Wells there is a feries 

/// Literature and Art, 1 49 

of ornamental bolles, formed by faces writhing under the attacks of 
numerous dragons, who are feizing upon the Ups. eyes, and cheeks of 
their vi6lims. One of thefe bolfes, which are of the thirteenth century, 
is reprefented in our cut No. 98. A large, coarfely featured face is the 

Ac/, ^a. iurrur, 

vidim of two dragons, one of which attacks his mouth, while the other has 
feized him by the eye. The expreliion of the face is ftrikingly horrible. 

The higher mind of the middle ages loved to fee inner meanings 
through outward forms; or, at leall, it was a falliion which manifefted 
itfelf moft ftrongly in the latter half of the twelfth century, to adapt 
thefe outward forms to inward meanings by comparifons and moralifa- 
tions; and under the effect of this feeling certain figures were at times 
adopted, with a view to fome other purpofe than mere ornament, though 
this was probably an innovation upon mediaeval art. The tongue lolling 
out, taken originally, as we have feen, from the imagery of claHic limes, 
was accepted rather early in the middle ages as the emblem or lymbol of 
luxury ; and, when we find it among the fculptured ornaments ot the 
architecture efpecially of fome of the larger and more important churches, 
it implied probably an alhilioii to that vice — at kaft the face prefentici to 
lu wai intended to be that of a vcjluptuary. Among the iini.ukiiblc 

150 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

feries of fculptures which crown the battlements of the cloifters of 
Magdalen College, Oxford, executed a very few years after the middle of 
the fifteenth century, amid many figures of a very mifcellaneous charader, 
there are feveral which were thus, no doubt, intended to be reprefen- 
tatives of vices, if not of virtues. I give two examples of thefe curious 

No. 99. Gluttony. 

No. 100. Luxury. 

The firft, No. 99, is generally confidered to reprefent gluttony, and it 
is a remarkable circumftance that, in a building the chara6ter of which 
was partly ecclefiaftical, and which was eredted at the expenfe and under 
the diredtions of a great prelate, Bifliop Wainflete, the vice of gluttony, 
with which the ecclefiaftical order was efpecially reproached, Ihould be 
reprefented in ecclefiaftical coftume. It is an additional proof that the 
detail of the v/ork of the building was left entirely to the builders. The 
coarfe, bloated features of the face, and the " villainous " low forehead. 

//; Literature ajid Art. 


are charaderirtically executed j and the lolling tongue may perhaps be 
intended to intimate that, in the lives of the clergy, luxury went hand in 
with its kindred vice. The fecond of our examples, No. 100, appears by 
its different charaderiftics (fume of which we have been unable to 
introduce in our woodcut) to be intended to reprefent luxury itfelf. 
Sometimes qualities of the individual man, or 
even the clafs of fociety, are reprefented in 
a manner far lels difguifed by allegorical 
clothing, and therefore much more plainly to 
the undcrftanding of the vulgar. Thus in an 
illuminated manufcript of the fourteenth cen- 
tury, in the Britilh Mufeum (MS. Arundel, 
No. 91), gluttony is reprefented by a monk 
devouring a pie alone and in fecret, except that a little cloven-footed imp 
holds up the difli, and feems to enjoy the profped of monadic indulgence. 
This pitture is copied in our cut No. loi. Another manufcript of the 
fame date (MS. Sloane, No. 2435) contains a fcene, copied in our cut 

No. 10 1. Monkljh Gluttony. 

Ni. loa. The M.naftic Cellarer. No. 103. Drunktnnefs. 

No. J02, reprefenting drunkennefs under the form of another monk, who 
has obtained the keys and found his way into the cellar of his monalkry, 
and is there indulging his love for good ale in fimilar fecrecy. It is to be 
remarked that here, again, the vices are laid to the charge of the clergy. 
Our cut No. 103, from a baf-relicf in Ely Cathedral, given in Carters 

1^2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

" Specimens of Ancient Sculpture," reprefents a man drinking from a 
horn, and evidently enjoying his employment, but his coftume is not 
fufRciently charafteriftic to betray his quality. 

The fubje6t of grotefque faces and heads naturally leads us to that of 
monftrous and grotefque bodies and groups of bodies, which has already 
been partly treated in a former chapter, where we have noticed the 
great love fhown in the middle ages for monftrous animated figures, 
not only monfters of one nature, but, and that efpecially, of figures 
formed by joining together the parts of different, and entirely diffimilar. 

No. 1 04. -dd Arrange Monfler. 

animals, of fimilar mixtures between animals and men. This, as ftated 
above, was often effefted by joining the body of fome nondefcript animal 
to a human head and face ; fo that, by the difproportionate fize of the 
latter, the body, as a fecondary part of the pifture, became only an adiun6t 
to fet oflf ftill further the grotefque chara6ter of the human face. More 
importance was fometimes given to the body combined with fantaltic 
forms, which baffle any attempt at giving an intelligible defcription. 
The accompanying cut. No. 104, reprefents a winged montter of this 

i?i Literature and Art. 


kind ; it is taken from one of the cafts from French churches exhibited 
in the Kenfinsrton Mufeum. 

Sometimes the mediaeval artift, without giving any unufual form to 
his human figures, placed them in ilrange pollures, or joined them in 
lingular combinations. Thefe latter are commonly of a playful charader. 
or fometimes they reprefent droll feats of ikill, or puzzles, or other 
fubjeds, all of which have been publilht-d pi6torially and for the amufe- 
ment of children down to very recent times. There were a few of thefe 
groups which aie of rather frequent occurrence, and they were evidently 
favourite types. One of thefe is given in the annexed cut. No. loj. ll 

No. 105. RoU'ing Topjy Turvy. 

is taken from one of the carved mifereres of the Ihills in Ely cathedral, as 
given in Carter, and reprefents two men who appear to be rolling over 
each other. The upper figure exhibits animal's ears on his cap, which 
feem to proclaim him a member of the fraternity of fools : the ears of 
the lower figure are concealed from view. This group is not a rare one, 
efpecially on fimilar monuments in France, where the architectural 
antiquaries have a technical name for it ; and this fhows us how iven the 
particular forms of art in the middle ages were not confined to any ])ar- 
ticular country, but more or let, and with exceptions, they pervaded all 

154 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

thofe which acknowledged the ecclefiaftical fupremacy of the church of 
Rome J whatever pecuharity of ftyle it took in particular countries, the 

fame forms were fpread through 
all wellern Europe. Our next cut. 
No. 106, gives another of thefe 
curious groups, conlifting, in fa6l, of 
two individuals, one of which is 
evidently an eccleliaftic. It will 
be feen that, as we follow this 
round, we obtain, by means of the 
two heads, four different figures in fo^. A Continuous Group. many totally different pofitions. This 

group is taken from one of the very curious feats in the cathedral of 
Rouen in Normandy, which were engraved and publifhed in an 

interefling volume by the late Monlieur E. H. 

Amon"g the moft interefling of the mediaeval 
burlefque drawings are thofe which are found in 
fuch abundance in the borders of the pages of 
illuminated manufcripts. During the earlier 
periods of the mediaeval miniatures, the favourite 
objefts for thefe borders were monftrous animals, 
efpecially dragons, which could eafily be twined 
into grotefque combinations. In courfe of time, the 
fubje6fs thus introduced became more numerous, 
and in the fifteenth century they were very varied. 
Strange animals flill continued to be favourites, but 
they were more light and elegant in their forms, 
and were more gracefully defigned. Our cut 
No. 107, taken from the beautifully-illuminated 
manufcript of the romanceof the"Comte d'Artois," 
of the fifteenth century, which has furnilhed us 
previoufly with feveral cuts, will illuftrate my 
meaning. The graceful lightnefs of the tracery of the foliage fhown in 

Nc. 107. Bcrder Ornament, 

in Literature and Art. 


this defign is tbund in none of the earHer works of art of this clals. 
This, of courfe, is chiefly to be afcribed to the great advance which had 
been made in the art of delign fince the thirteenth century. But, though 
fo greatly improved in the ftyle of art, the fame clafs of fubjeds con- 
tinued to be introduced in this border ornamentation lonsr after the art 
of printing, and that of engraving, which accompanied it, had been 
introduced. The revolution in the ornamentation of the borders of the 
pages of books was effe6ted by the artifts of the fixteenth century, at 
which time people had become better acquainted with, and had learnt to 
appreciate, ancient art and Roman antiquities, and they drew their 
infpiration from a corre6l knowledge of what the middle ages had copied 
blindly, but had not underftood. Among the fubjefts of burlefque which 
the monuments of Roman art prefented to them, the ftumpy figures of 
the pigmies appear to have gained fpecial favour, and they are employed 
in a manner which reminds us of the piftures found in Pompeii. Joll 
Amman, the well-known artift, who exercifed his profeflion at Nurem- 
berg in the latter half of the fixteenth century, engraved a let of 

No. 1 08. A Triumfhal Procejfion. 

illuftrations to Ovid's Metamorphofes, which were printed at Lyons in 
1 574, and each cut and page of which is enclofed in a border of very 
fanciful and neatly-executed burlelque. The pigmies are introduced in 
tht/e borders very freely, and are grouped with great fjjirit. I feletl as an 
example, tul No. 108, a fccne which reprefeuls a triumphal prutellion — • 

156 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

lome pigmy Alexander returning from his conquefts. The hero is feated 
on a throne carried by an elephant, and before him a bird, perhaps a 
vanquilhed crane, proclaims loudly his praife. Before them a pigmy 
attendant marches proudly, carrying in one hand the olive branch of 
peace, and leading in the other a ponderous but captive ollrich, as a 
trophy of his maker's vitlories. Before him again a pigmy warrior, 
heavily armed with battle-axe and falchion, is mounting the fteps of a 
ftage, on which a nondefcript animal, partaking fomewhat of the 
charafter of a fow, but perhaps intended as a burlefque on the ftrange 
animals which, in mediaeval romance, Alexander was faid to have 
encountered in Egypt, blows a horn, to celebrate or announce the return 
of the conqueror. A fnail, alfo advancing flowly up the ftage, implies, 
perhaps, a fneer at the whole fcene. 

Neverthelefs, thefe old German, Flemifh, and Dutch artifts were flill 
much influenced by the mediaeval fpirit, which they difplayed in their 
coarfe and clumfy imagination, in their neglect of everything like 
ccngruity in their treatment of the fubje6t with regard to time and 
place, and their naive exaggerations and blunders. Extreme examples of 
thefe charafteriftics are fpoken of, in which the Ifraelites croffing the Red 
Sea are armed with mulkets, and all the other accoutrements of modern 
foldiers, and in which Abraham is preparing to facrifice his fon Ifaac by 
fhooting him with a matchlock. In delineating fcriptural fubjecSls, an 
attempt is generally made to clothe the figures in an imaginary aftcient 
oriental coftume, but the landfcapes are filled with the modern caftles 
and manfion houfes, churches, and monalleries of weftern Europe. 
Thefe half-mediaeval artifts, too, like their more ancient predeceiTors, 
often fall into unintentional caricature by the exaggeration or fimplicity 
with which they treat their fubje6ts. There was one fubje6t which the 
artifts of this period of regeneration of art feemed to have agreed to 
treat in a very unimaginative manner. In the beautiful Sermon on the 
Mount, our Saviour, in condemning hafty judgments of other people's 
a6tions, fays (Matt. vii. 3 — 5), " And why beholdeft thou the mote that 
is in thy brother's eye, but confidereft not the beam that is in thine 
own eye ? Or how wilt thou fay to thy brother. Let me pull out the 

iji Literature and Art. 


mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye ? Thou 
hypocrite, tirft caft out the beam out of thine own eye, and then (halt 
thou fee clearly to call out the mote out of thy brother's eye." What- 
ever be the exa6t nature of the beam which the man was expected to 
overlook in his " own eye," it certainly was not a large beam of timber. 
Yet luch was the conception of it by artills of the fixtecnth century. 
One of them, named Solomon Bernard, defigned a ferics of woodcuts 
illurtrating the New Teftament, which were publilhed at Lyons in 1553 ; 
and the manner in which he treated the fubjeft will be fecn in our cut 
No. 109, taken from one of the illuftrations to that book. The individual 

1^0. 109. Tht Mote and the Beam. 

feated is the man who has a mote in his eye, which the other, approach- 
ing him, points out ; and he retorts by pointing to the " beam," which is 
I certainly fuch a maflive objeft as could not ealily have been overlooked. 
About thirteen years before this, an artift of Augtburg, laim-d Daniel 
1 l<jpfer, had publilhed a large copper-plate engraving of this fame fubjea, 
a reduced copy of which is given in the cut No. 110. Tlie imlividual 
who. fees the mote in hi3 brother's eye, is evidently treating it in the 

158 Hiflory of Caricature and Crotefque 

chara6ter of a phyfician or furgeon. It is only neceflary to add that the 
beam in his own eye is of ftill more extraordinary dimenfions than the 
former, and that, though it feems to efcape the notice both of himfelf 

"No, 1 1 o. The Mote and the Beam — Another Treatment. 

and his patient, it is evident that the group in the diftance contemplate it 
with aftonilhment. The building accompanying this fcene appears to be 
a church, with paintings of faints in the windows. 

/;/ Literature and Art. 1 59 








IN a previous chapter I have fpoken of a clafs of fatirical literature 
which was entirely popular in its chara6ter. Not that on this account 
it was original among the peoples who compofed mediaeval fociety, for 
the intelledual development of the middle ages came almofl: all from 
Rome through one medium or other, although we know fo little of the 
details of the popular literature of the Romans that we cannot always 
trace it. The mediaeval literature of weftern Europe was moftly modelled 
upon that of France, which was received, like its language, from Rome. 
But when the great univerfity fyftem became eftablilhed, towards the end 
of the eleventh century, the fcholars of weftern Europe became more 
dire6tly acquainted with the models of literature which antiquity had left 
them ; and during the twelfth century thefe found imitators fo Ikilful that 
fome of them almoft deceive us into accepting them for claflical writers 
themfclves. Among the firft of thefe models to attrad the attention of 
mediaeval fcholars, were the Roman fatirifts, and the ftudy of them 
produced, during the twelfth century, a number of fatirical writers in 
Latin profe and verfe, who are remarkable not only for their boldnefs and 
poignancy, but for the elegance of their flvle. I mav meniion among 
thofe of Englifh birth, John of Saliibury, Walter Mapcs, aiul Giraldus 
Cambrenfis, who all wrote in jjrcjfc, and Nigellus Wirckcr, already 
mcntiuncd in a former chapter, and Julin de Ilautevillc, who wrote in 

i6o Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

verfe. The lirfl; of thefe, in his " Polycraticus," Walter Mapes, in his 
book "De Nugis Curiahum," and Giraldus. in his " Speculum Ecclefiae," 
and feveral other of his writings, lay the lalh on the corruptions and vices 
of their contemporaries with no tender hand. The two moft remarkable 
Englifh fatirifts of the twelfth century were John de Hauteville and 
Nigellus Wireker. The former wrote, in the year 1184, a poem in nine 
books of Latin hexameters, entitled, after the name of its hero, " Archi- 
trenius," or the Arch-mourner. Architrenius is reprefented as a youth, 
arrived at years of maturity, who forrows over the fpedacle of human 
vices and weaknelfes, until he refolves to go on a pilgrimage to Dame 
Nature, in order to expoftulate with her for having made him feeble to 
refift the temptations of the world, and to entreat her affiftance. On his 
way, he arrives fucceffively at the court of Venus and at the abode of 
Gluttony, which give him the occafion to dwell at confiderable length 
on the licenfe and luxury which prevailed among his contemporaries. 
He next reaches Paris, and vifits the famous mediaeval univerfity, and his 
fatire on the manners of the ftudents and the fruitleflhefs of their ftudies, 
forms a remarkable and interefting pi£ture of the age. The pilgrim 
next arrives at the Mount of Ambition, tempting by its beauty and by the 
ftately palace with which it was crowned, and here we are prefented with 
a fatire on the manners and corruptions of the court. Near to this was 
the Hill of Prefumption, which was inhabited by ecclefiaftics of all claffes, 
great fcholaftic do6lors and profeflbrs, monks, and the like. It is a 
fatire on the manners of the clergy. As Architrenius turns from this 
painful fpeftacle, he encounters a gigantic and hideous monfter named 
Cupidity, is led into a feries of reflexions upon the greedinefs and 
avarice of the prelates, from which he is roufed by the uproar caufed by 
a fierce combat between the prodigals and the mifers. He is fubfequently 
carried to the ifland of far-diftant Thule, which he finds to be the refting- 
place of the philofophers of ancient Greece, and he liftens to their 
declamations againft the vices of mankind. After this vifit, Architrenius 
reaches the end of his pilgrimage. He finds Nature in the form of a 
beautiful woman, dwelling with a hoft of attendants in the midft of a 
flowery plain, and meats with a courteous reception, but flie begins by 

in Literature and Art. 1 6 1 

giving him a lung leAure on natural philofophy. Attcr this is concluded. 
Dame Nature lillens to his complaints, and, to conlole him, gives him a 
handfome woman, named Moderation, for a wife, and dilmilles him with 
a chapter of good counfels on the duties of married life. The general 
moral intended to be inculcated appears to be that the retirement of 
domeftic happinefs is to be preferred to the vain and heartlels turmoils of 
adive life in all its phafes. It will be feen that the kind of allegory 
which fubfequently produced the " Pilgrim's Progrefs," had already made 
its appearance in mediaeval literature. 

Another of the celebrated fatirifts of the fcholaflic ages was named 
Alanus de Infulis, or Alan of Lille, becaufe he is underftood to have been 
born at Lille m Flanders. He occupied the chair of theology for many 
years in the univerfity of Paris with great diilindion, and his learning was 
fo extenlive that he gained the name of doBor univerfalis, the univerfal 
dodor. In one of his books, which is an imitation of that favourite book 
in the middle ages "Boethius de Confolatione Philofophiae," Dame Nature, 
in the place of Philofophy — not, as in John de Hauteville, as the referee, 
but as the complainant — is introduced bitterly lamenting over the deep 
depravity of the thirteenth century, efpecially difplayed in the prevalence 
of vices of a revolting charader. This work, which, like Boethius, confills 
of alternate chapters in verfe and profe, is entitled " De Plandu Naturae," 
the lamentation of nature. I will not, however, go on here to give a 
lift of the graver fatirical writers, but we will proceed to another clafs of 
fatirifts which fprang up among the mediaeval fcholars, more remarkable 
and more peculiar in their charafter — I mean peculiar to the middle ages. 

The fatires of the time (how us that the Itudents in the univerlities 
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, who enjoyed a great amount 
of independence from authority, were generally wild and riotous, and, 
among the vaft number of youths who then devoted themfclves to a 
fcholallic life, we can have no doubt that the habit of diHipation became 
permanent. Among thefe wild ftudents there exifled, probably, far more 
wit and fatirical talent than among their fteadier and more laborious 
bretliien, and this wit, and the manner in which it was difplayed, made 
fta pofll-lfors welcome gucfts at tin- luxurious tables of the higher and 


1 6 2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

richer clergy, at which Latin feems to have been the language in ordinary 
ufe. In all probability it was from this circumftance (in allufion to the 
Latin word gula, as intimating their love of the table) that thefe merry 
fcholars, who difplayed in Latin fome of the accomplifliments which the 
jongleurs profeffed in the vulgar tongue, took or received the name of 
goUards (in the Latin of that time, goliardi, or goUardenfes) .* The 
name at leaft appears to have been adopted towards the end of the 
twelfth century. In the year 1229, during the minority of Louis IX., 
and while the government of France was in the hands of the queen- 
mother, troubles arofe in the univerfity of Paris through the intrigues of 
the papal legate, ai.d the turbulence of the fcholars led to their difperfion 
and to the temporary clofing of the fchoolsj and the contemporary 
hiftorian, Matthew Paris, tells us how " fome of the fervants of the 
departing fcholars, ^r thofe whom we ufed to call goliardenfes," com- 
pofed an indecent epigram on the rumoured familiarities between the 
legate and the queen. But this is not the firft mention of the goliards, 
for a llatute of the council of Treves, in 1227, forbade "all priefts to 
permit truants, or other wandering fcholars, or goliards, to fing verfes or 
SanSius and Angelas Dei in the fervice of the mafs."t This probably 
refers to parodies on the religious fervice, fuch as thofe of which I fliall 
foon have to fpeak. From this time the goliards are frequently mentioned. 
In ecclefiaftical ftatutes publiflied in the year 1289, it is ordered that the 
clerks or clergy {clerici, that is, men who had their education in the 
univerfity) fhould not be jougleurs, goliards, or buffoons j" J and the fame 
ftatute proclaims a heavy penalty againft thofe clerici "who perfift in the 

* In the mediaeval Latin, the word goUardia was introduced to express the pro- 
fe.>sion of the goliard, and the vtrh gonardi%are, to signify the practice of it. 

* t " Item, praecipimus ut onines sacerdotes non permittant trutannos et alios vagos 
schoiares, aut goliardos, cantare versus super Sanaus et Angelus Dei in missis," etc. 
— Concil. Trevir., an. 1227, ap. Marten, et Durand. Ampliss. Coll., vii. col. 117. 

\ " Item, praecipimus quod clerici non sint joculatores, goliardi, seu bufones." — 
Stat. Synod. Caduacensis, Ruthenensis, et Tutelensis Eccles. ap. Martene, Thes. 
Anecd., iv. col. 727. 


in Literature and Art. i 6 3 

practice of goliardy or flage performance during a year,"* which Ihows 
that they exercifed more of the fundions of the jongleur than the mere 
finging of fongs. 

Thefe vagabond clerks made for themfelves an imaginary chieftain, or 
prefident of their order, to whom they gave the name of Golias, probably 
as a pun on the name of the giant who combated againft David, and, to 
Ihow further their defiance of the exifting church government, they made 
him a bifhop — Golias epifcopus. Billiop Golias was the burlefque repre- 
fentative of the clerical order, the general fatirift, the reformer of 
eclefiallical and all other corruptions. If he was not a doftor of divinity, 
he was a mafter of arts, for he is fpoken of as Magiftcr Golias. But 
above all he was the father of the Goliards, the "ribald clerks," as they 
are called, who all belonged to his houfehold,t and they are fpoken of as 
his children. 

Summa falus omnium, fU us Maria, 
Pajcat, potat, vejiiat pueroi Golya ! J 

" May the Saviour of all, the Son of Mary, give food, drink, and clothes 
to the children of Golias!" Still the name was clothed in fo much 
myftery, that Giraldus Cambrenfis, who flouriflied towards the latter end 
of the twelfth century, believed Golias to be a real perfonage, and his 
contemporary. It may be added that Golias not only boalls of the 
dignity of bifhop, but he appears fometimes under the title of archipoeta, 
the archpoet or poet-in-chief. 

Caefarius of Heiflerbach, who completed his book of the miracles of 
his time in the year 1222, tells us a curious anecdote of the character of 
the wandering clerk. In the year before he wrote, he tells us, " It 
happened at Bonn, in the diocefe of Cologne, that a certain wandering 

• " Clcrici .... si in goliardia vel histrionatu per annum fuerint." — lb. col. 719. 
In one of the editions ot this statute it is added, "after tliey have been warned three 

t ** Clcrici ribaldi, maximc qui vulgo dicuntur defamila Goliad — Concil. Sen. ap. 
Concil., t-jHi. ix. \>. 578. 

\ btc n>y " Poems ol Walter Mapcs," p. 70. 

164 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

clerk, named Nicholas, of the clafs they call archpoet, was grievoully ill, 
and when he fuppofed that he was dying, he obtained from our abbot, 
through his own pleading, and the interceflion of the canons of the fame 
church, admiflion into the order. What more ? He put on the tunic, 
as it appeared to us, with much contrition, but, when the danger was 
paft, he took it off immediately, and, throwing it down with derifion, took 
to flight." We learn befl: the charafter of the goliards from their own 
poetry, a confiderable quantity of which is preferved. They wandered 
about from manfion to manfion, probably from monaftery to monaftery, 
luft like the jongleurs, but they feem to have been efpecially welcome at 
the tables of the prelates of the church, and, like the jongleurs, befides 
being well feafted, they received gifts of clothing and other articles. In 
few inftances only were they otherwife than welcome, as defcribed in the 
rhyming epigram printed m my " Latin Poems attributed to Walter 
Mapes." "I come uninvited," fays the goliard to the bifliop, "ready for 
dinner; fuch is my fate, never to dine invited." The bilhop replies, "I 
care not for vagabonds, who wander among the fields, and cottages, and 
villages 3 fuch guefts are not for my table. I do not invite you, for I 
avoid fuch as you ; yet without my will you may eat the bread you afk. 
Wafla, wipe, fit, dine, drink, wipe, and depart." 

Non In-vhatus 'venio p^andere paratus ; 
Sic f urn fatatus, nunquam prandere -vocatus. 

Non ego euro -vagos, qui rura, mapalia, pagoi 
Perlujlrant, tales non -vult mea tnenfa Jodales, 
Te non in-vito, tihi conjimiles ego -vito j 
Me tamen innjito potieris pane petito, 
jiblue, terge, fede, prande, bibe, terge, recede. 

In another fimilar epigram, the goliard complains of the billiop who 
had given him as his reward nothing but an old worn-out mantle. Moll 
of the writers of the goliardic poetry complain of their poverty, and 
fome of them admit that this poverty arofe from the tavern and the 
love of gambling. One of them alleges as his claim to the liberality of 

//; Literature and Art. 1 6 c 

his hoft, that, as he was a Icholar, he had not learnt to labour, that his 
parents were knights, but he had no tafte for fighting, and that, in a 
word, he preferred poetry to any occupation. Another fpeaks iVill more 
to the point, and complains that he is in danger of being obliged to fell 
his clothes. " li this garment of vair which I wear," he fays, " be fold 
for money, it will be a great difgrace to me ; I would rather fufFer a long 
fait. A bilhop, who is the mod generous of all generous men, gave me 
this cloak, and will have for it heaven, a greater reward than St. Martm 
has, who only gave half of his cloak. It is needful now that the poet's 
want be relieved by your liberality [addrelling his hearers] j let noble men 
give noble gifts — gold, and robes, and the like." 

Si -vendatur propter denarium 
Indumentum quod porta -varium, 
Grande mihi Jiet opprobrium ; 
Nialo dJu pati jejunium. 
Largijftmus largorum omnium 
Prwjul dedit mihi hoc patliumf 
Mtijus haben: in ctelis praimum 
B^utjm Alartinus., qui dedit medium. 
Nunc eft opus ut -veftra copia 
Shbleiietur -vatis inopia ; 
Dent nobiles dona nobilia, — 
Aurum, -ueftei, et hiijimilia. 

There has been fome difference of opinion as to the country to which 
this poetry more efpecially belongs. Giraldus Cambrenfis, writing at the 
end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century, evidently 
thought that Golias was an Englifhman j and at a later date the goliardic 
poetry was almoft all afcribed to Giraldus's contemporary and friend, the 
celebrated humourift, Walter Mapes. This was, no doubt, an error. 
Jacob Grimm feemed inclined to claim them for Germany; but Grimm, 
on this occafion, certainly took a narrow view of the queftion. We fhall 
probably be more correct in faying that they belonged in common to all 
the countries over which univerfity learning extended; that in whatever 
country a particular poem of tliis clafs was compofcd, it became tlie 
property of the whole body of thefe fcholafUc jougleurs, and that it was 

1 66 liijtory of Caricature a?id Grotefue 

_ 111 I -i 

thus carried from one land to another, receiving fometimes alterations oi 
additions to adapt it to each. Several of thefe poems are found ij 
manufcripts written in different countries with fuch alterations and 
additions, as, for inftance, that in the well-known " Confeffion," in tb'" 
Englilh copies of which we have, near the conclufion, the line — 

Praful Coventrenjium, parce confitenti ; 

an appeal to the bifhop of Coventry, which is changed, in a copy in a 
German manufcript, to 

EkSie Cdonia, parce peenltentl, 

*' O ele£t of Cologne, fpare me penitent." From a comparifon of what 
remains of this poetry in manufcripts written in different countries, it 
appears probable that the names Golias and goliard originated in the 
univerfity of Paris, but were more efpecially popular in England, while the 
term archipoeta was more commonly ufed in Germany. 

In 1 841 I colleded all the goliardic poetry which I could then find 
in Englifh manufcripts, and edited it, under the name of Walter Mapes, 
as one of the publications of the Camden Society.* At a rather later 
date I gave a chapter of additional matter of the fame defcription in my 
" Anecdota Literaria."t All the poems I have printed in thefe two 
volumes are found in manufcripts written in England, and fome of them 
are certainly the compofitions of Englilh writers. They are diftinguilhed 
by remarkable facility and eafe in verfification and rhyme, and by great 
pungency of fatire. The latter is dire6led efpecially againft the clerical 
order, and none are fpared, from the pope at the fummit of the fcale 
down to the loweft of the clergy. In the " Apocalypfis Goliae," or Golias's 
Revelations, which appears to have been the moll popular of all thefe 

* The Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes, collected and edited 
by Thomas Wright, Esq., 4to., London, 1841. 

t " Anecdota Literaria ; a Collection of Short Poems in English, Latin, and 
French, illustrative of the Literature and History of England in the Thirteenth 
Century." Edited by Thomas Wright, Esq. 8vo., London, 1844, 

in Literature a?id Art. 1 67 

poems,* the poet defcribes himfelf as carried up in a vifion to heaven, 
where the vices and diforders of the various dalles of the popifli clergy are 
fucceffively revealed to him. The pope is a devouring lion ; in his eager- 
nefs for pounds, he pawns books ; at the fight of a mark of money, he 
treats Mark the Evangelift with disdain ; while he fails aloft, money alone 
* his anchoring-place. The original lines will ferve as a fpecimen of 
the flyle of thefe curious compofitions, and of the love of punning which 
^as fo charaderiftic of the liteiature of that asre : — 


E.ft ho pontifex Jummus, qui dcvorat, 
S^ui lihras Jitiens, libroi impignorat ; 
Marcam rejpidet, Marcum dcdecorat ; 
Jnjummis na-vigans, in nummis anchor at. 

The bifhop is in hafte to intrude himfelf into other people's paftures. and 
fills himfelf with other people's goods. The ravenous archdeacon is com- 
pared to an eagle, becaufe he has fharp eyes to fee his prey afar oft", and 
is fwift to feize upon it. The dean is reprefented by an animal with a 
man's face, full of filent guile, who covers fraud with the form of jullice, 
and by the fliow of fimplicity would make others believe him to be pious. 
In this fpirit the faults of the clergy, of all degrees, are minutely criticifed 
through between four and five hundred lines j and it mutt not be forgotten 
that it was the Englifh clergy whofe charader was thus expofed. 

Tu fcribes etiam, forma fed alia, 
Septem ecc/efiis qua junt in j^nglia. 

Others of thefe pieces are termed Sermons, and are addrefled, fome to 
the bifhops and dignitaries of the church, others to the pope, others to 
the monaflic orders, and others to the clergy in general. The court of 
Rome, we are told, was infamous for its greedinefs ; there all right and 
juftice were put up for fale, and no favour could be had without money. 
In this court money occupies everybody's thoughts ; its croG — i. e. the mark 

• In my edition I have collated no less than sixteen copies wliidi occur nmon» 
the MSS. in tlie Hritisli Museuin, and in the libraries at Oxford and Canibridjjc, 
and there arc, no doubt, many more. 

1 68 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

on the reverfe of the coin — its roundnefs, and its whitenefs, all pleafe the 
Romans ; where money fpeaks law is filent. 

Ntimmh In fiac curia non eji qui non "vacet ; 
Crux placet, rctunditas, et albedo placet, 
Et cum totum placeat, et Romanis placet, 
Ubi nummut loquitur, et lex omnh tacet. 

Perhaps one of the moft curious of thefe poems is the " Confeflion of 
Golias," m which the poet is made to fatirife himfelf, and he thus gives 
us a curious pifture of the goliard's life. He complains that he is made 
of light material, which is moved by every wind j that he wanders about 
irregularly, like the Ihip on the fea or the bird in the air, feeking worth- 
lefs companions like himfelf. He is a flave to the charms of the fair fex. 
He is a martyr to gambling, which often turns him out naked to the cold, 
but he is warmed inwardly by the infpiration of his mind, and he writes 
better poetry than ever. Lechery and gambling are two of his vices, and 
the third is drinking. "The tavern,'' he fays, "I never defplfed, nor 
fhall I ever defpife it, until I fee the holy angels coming to fmg the 
eternal requiem over my corpfe. It is my defign to die in the tavern ; let 
wine be placed to my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs 
of angels come, they may fay, ' Be God propitious to this drinker ! ' The 
lamp of the foul is lighted with cups ; the heart fteeped in nedar flies up 
to heaven ; and the wine in the tavern has for me a better flavour than 

that which the bifliop's butler mixes with water Nature gives to 

every one his peculiar gift : I never could write fading ; a boy could beat 
me in cornpofition when I am hungry j I hate thirft and falling as mucii 
as death." 

Tert'to capitulo memoro tabernam : 
II lam nulla tempore fpre-vi, neque Jpernam, 
Donee JanBos angelos -venientes cernam, 
Cantantes pro mortuo requiem aternam. 

Meum eji propojltum in taberna mori \ 
Vindumjit appojitum morientis ori, 
Ut dicant cum -venennt angelorum chart, 
• Deusjit propitius huic potatori ! ' 

/;/ Literature and Art. 169 

PocuVts accend'itur an:mi luiierna ; 
Ccr imbutum ncBare "voiut ad Juperna : 
Mi hi fa pit dulcius vinum in taierna, 
Sluam quod aquj mijcuit prcejulis pinarnj. 

Unicuique proprium dat nalura munus : 
Ego nunqujm potui jcribere jejunus j 
Me je/unum vincere pojjft puer unus ; 
Sitim et jfjunium odi tanquam Junus* 

Another of the more popular of thefe goliardic poems was the advice of 
Golias againll marriage, a grofs fatire upon the female fex. Contrary to 
what we might perhaps expeft from their being written in Latin, many 
of thefe metrical fatires are dire6ted againll the vices of the laity, as well 
as againft thofe of the clergy. 

In 1844 the celebrated German fcholar, Jacob Grimm, publilhed in 
the " Tran factions of the Academy of Sciences at Berlin " a fele6tion of 
goliardic verfes from manufcripts in Germany, which had evidently been 
written by Germans, and fome of them containing allufions to German 
atfairs in the thirteenth century. f They prefent the fame form of verfe 
and the fame ftyle of fatire as thofe found in England, but the name of 
Golias is exchanged for archipoeta, the archpoet. Some of the ftanzas 
of the " Confeflion of Golias " are found in a poem in which the archpoet 
addrelfes a petition to the archchancellor for afliftance in his diftrefs, and 
confelfcs his partiality for wine. A copy of the Confeflion itfelf is alfo found 
in this German colledtion, under tl itle of the " Poet's Confeflion." 

The Royal Library at Munich contains a very important manufcriptof 
this goliardic Latin poetry, written in the thirteenth century. It belonged 
originally to one of the great Benedidine abbeys in Bavaria, where it appears 
to have been very carefully preferved, but iVill with an apparent confciouf- 
neGi that it was not exaftly a book tor a religious brothorliood, which k'd 

* Poem<! attributed to Walter Mape>*, p. 73. The stanzas here quoted, with 
komc others, were afterwards made \\\> into a drinking song, which was rather 
popjlar in the fifteenth ami Nixttenth (cntnries. 

t " Gedichtc dc* Mittelalters aut K<'nig Fricdrich I. den Staufar, und aus seiner 
to wie dcr na<hstfolgenilen Zcit," 4tf». Separate copies of this work were printi'd 
off and distributed anionj; tnedix'val scholars 

170 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

the monks to omit it in the catalogue of their library, no doubt as a book 
the poffeliion of which was not to be proclaimed publicly. When written, 
it was evidently intended to be a careful fele6tion of the poetry of this clals 
then current. One part of it confills of poetry of a more ferious charafter, 
fuch as hymns, moral poems, and efpecially fatirical pieces. In this clafs 
there are more than one piece which are alfo found in the manufcripts 
written in England. A very large portion of the colle6tion confifts of love 
fongs, which, althougn evidently treafured by the Benedi6tine monks, are 
fometimes licentious in chara6ler. A third clafs confifls of drinking and 
gambling fongs {potatoria et luforia). The general chara6ler of this poetry 
is more playful, more ingenious and intricate in its metrical ftru6ture, in 
fa6t, more lyric than that of the poetry we have been defcribing ; yet it 
came, in all probability, from the fame clafs of poets — the clerical jougleurs. 
The touches of fentiment, the defcriptions of female beauty, the admiration 
of nature, are fometimes exprefTed with remarkable grace. Thus, the 
green wood fweetly enlivened by the joyous voices of its feathered inhabi- 
tants, the fliade of its branches, the thorns covered with flowers, which, 
fays the poet, are emblematical of love, which pricks like a thorn and then 
foothes hke a flower, are taftefuUy defcribed in the following lines:- — 

Cantu nemus a-vium 

Lafci-via canentlum 

S'ua-ve delinitur^ 

Fronde redimitur^ 

Vcrnant jp'ince jioribui 


Venerem fignant'th us 

^ia Jpina punglt, Jlos hianditur. 

And the following fcrap of the defcription of a beautiful damfel fhows no 
fmall command of language and verfification — 

j^llkh dulcibus 
Verbis et oJcuHs, 

Cajligate tumentibus, 
Rojeo TieElareus 
Odor infujus ori ; 
Pariter eburneus 
^ Sedat ordo dentium 

Far m-veo candori. 

in Literature and Art. 1 7 1 

The whole contents of this manulcript were printed in 1847, '" 3" o6lavo 
volume, ilVued by the Literary Society at Stuttgard.* I had already 
printed fome examples of fuch amatory Latin lyric poetry in 1838, in a 
volume of " Early Myfteries and Latin Poems ;"t but this poetry does 
not belong properly to tlie fubjed of the prefent volume, and I pafs on 
from it. 

The goliards did not always write in verfe, for we have fome of their 
profe compolitions, and thefe appear efpecially in the form of parodies. 
We trace a great love for parody in the middle ages, which fpared not 
even things the moft facred, and the examples brought forward in the 
celebrated trial of William Hone, were mild in comparifon to fome which 
are found fcattered here and there in mediaeval manufcripts. Li ray 
Poems, attributed to Walter j\Iapes,J I have printed a fatire in profe 
entitled " Magijter Gohjas de quodam albole' {i.e., Mafter Golias's account 
of a certain abbot), which has fomewhat the chara6ter of a parody upon a 
faint's legend. The voluptuous life of the fuperior of a monallic houfe is 
here defcribed in a tone of banter which nothing could excel. Several 
parodies, more dire6l in their charafter, are printed in the two volumes of 
the " Reliquae Aniiquae."§ One of thefe (vol. ii. p. 208) is a complete 
parody on the fervice of the mafs, which is entitled in the original, 
" Miffa de Polaloriius," the Mafs of the Drunkard. In this extraordinary 
compofition, even the pater-noller is parodied. A portion of this, with 
great variations, is found in the German colledion of the Carmina 
Eurana, under the title of OJJicium Lujorum, the Office of the Gamblers. 

• " Carmina Burana. Lateinische iind Deutsche Lieder iind Getliclite einer 
Handschrift des XIII. Jahrluindcrts aus Bciiedictbeurn anf dcr K, Bihliotliek zu 
Munchcn." 8vo. Stutts^art, 1847. 

t " Early Mysteries and other Latin Poems of the Twelfth and Thirteenth 
Ccnturif-," edited by Thomas Wri<;ht, Esq. 8vo. London, 1838. 

\ Introduction, p. xl. 

4 " Reliquiae Antiquie. Scraps from Ancient Manuscripts, illustratinj; chiefly 
Fariy English Literature and the English Languaj^e." Edited l>v Tlionias 
Writiht, Esq., and J. O. Halliwtil, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. Vol. i., London, 1841; 
vol. ii., '843. 

172 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grofefqiie 

In the " Reliquse Anliquae" (ii. 58) we have a parody on the Gofpel of 
St. Luke, beginning with the words, Initium faUacis Evangelii fecundum 
Lupum, this lafl word being, of courfe, a fort of pun upon Lucam. Its 
fubje6t alfo is Bacchus, and the fcene having been laid in a tavern in 
Oxford, we have no difficulty in afcribing it to fome fcholar of that 
univerfity in the thirteenth century. Among the Carmina Burana we 
find a limilar parody on the Gofpel of St. Mark, which has evidently 
belonged to one of thefe burlefques on the church fervice ; and as it is 
lefs profane than the others, and at the fame time pidures the mediaeval 
hatred towards the church of Rome, I will give a tranflation of it as an 
example of this Angular clafs of compofitions. It is hardly neceflary to 
remind the reader that a mark was a coin of the value of thirteen lliillings 
and fourpence : — 

"The beginningr of the holy gospel accordiris; to Marks of silver. At that time 
the pope said to the Romans : * When the son of man shall come to the seat of 
our majesty, first say, Friend, for what hast thou come ? But if he should persevere 
in knocking without giving you anything, cast him out into utter darkness.' And 
it came to pass, that a certain poor clerk came to the court of the lord the pope, and 
cried out, saying, ' Have pity on me at least, you doorkeepers of the pope, for the 
hand of poverty has touched me. For I am needy and poor, and therefore I seek 
your assistance in my calamity and misery.' But they hearing this were highly 
indignant, and said to him : ' Friend, thy poverty be with thee in perdition ; get 
thee backward, Satan, for thou dost not savour of those things which have the 
savour of money. Verily, verily, I say unto thte. Thou shalt not enter into the joy 
of thy lord, until thou shalt have given thy last farthing.' 

" Then the poor man went away, and sold his cloak and his gown, and all that 
he had, and gave it to the cardinals, and to the doorkeepers, and to the chamberlains. 
But they said, ' And what is this among so many ?' And they cast him out of the 
gates, and going out he wept bitterly, and was without consolation. After him 
there came to the court a certain clerk who was rich, and gross, and fat, and 
large, and who in a tumuli had committed manslaughter. He gave first to the 
doorkeeper, secondly to the chamberlain, third to the cardinals. But they judged 
among themselves, that they were to receive more. Then the lord the pope, hearing 
that the cardinals and officials had received many gifts from the clerk, became sick 
unto death. But the rich man sent him an electuary of gold and silver, and he was 
immediately made whole. Then the lord the pope called before him the cardinals 
and officials, and said to them ; * Brethren, see that no one deceive you with empty 
words. For I give you an example, that, as I take, so take ye also.' " 

This mediaeval love of parody was not unfrequently difplayed in a 

in Literature and Art. 173 

more popular form, and in the language of the people. In the RiUquce 
Antiquie (i. 82) we have a very lingular parody in Englilli on the fernions 
of the Catholic priellhood, a good part of which is fo written as to prefent 
no confecutive fenfe, which circumftance itfelf implies a fneer at the 
preachers. Thus our burlefque preacher, in the middle of his difcourfe, 
proceeds to narrate as follows (I modernil'e the Englilh) : — 

" Sir<, what time that God and St. Peter came to Rome, Peter a«;ked Adam a 
full great doubtful question, and said, " Adam, Adam, why ate thou the apple un- 
pared?' ' Forsooth,' quod he, ' for I had no wardens (pears) tried.' And Peter 
saw the fire, and dread him, and stepped into a plum-tree that hanged full of ripe 
red cherries. And there he saw all the parrots in the sea. There he saw steeds 
and stockfish pricking ' swose ' (?) in the water. There he saw hens and herrings that 
hunted after harts in hedges. There he saw eels roasting lark*:. There he saw 
haddocks were done on the pillory for wrong roasting of May butter ; and there he 
saw how bakers baked butter to grease with old monks' boots. There he saw how 
the fox preached," &c. 

The lame volume contains fome rather clever parodies on the old 
Englilli alliterative romances, compofed in a limilar flyle of confecutive 
nonfenfe. It is a clafs of parody which we trace to a rather early period, 
which the French term a coq-d-l'dne, and which became falhionable in 
England in the feventeenth century in the form of fongs entitled 
"Tom-a-Bedlams." M. Jubinal has printed two fuch poems in French, 
perhaps of the thirteenth century,* and others are found fcattered 
through the old manufcripts. There is generally fo much coarfenefs in 
them that it is not eafy to feleft a portion for tranflation, and in fti6t their 
point confifts in going on through the length of a poem of this kind 
without imparting a fingle clear idea. Thus, in the fecond of thole 
publilhed by Jubinal, we are told how, "The fliadow of an egg carried 
the new year upon the bottom of a pot ; two old new combs made a ball 
to run the trot j when it came to paying the fcot, I, who never move 

• " .Achillc Jubinal, Jongleurs et Trouvercs." 8vo., Paris, 1835, p. 34; and 
" Nouvi-au Kecueil dc Contcs, Diti., Fabliaux," &c. 8vo., Paris, i 842. Vol. ij. 
p. ao8. In the fiist instance M. Jubinal has given to this little poem the title 
Rtfvtriti, in the nccond, Fatrafut. 

174 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

myfelf, cried out, without faying a word, ' Take the feather of an ox, and 
clothe a wife fool with it.' " — 

Li ombres d''un oef 

Portott Pan rencuf 

Sur la fonz (fun pot ; 

Deus •vie-z pinges neuf 

Firent un ejiuef 

Pour courre k trot ; 

Sluant -vint au pater Vejcot^ 

ye, qui OTKjues ne me muef, 

M'ejcriaijji ne dis mot : — 

* Prenes la plume d^un buef, 

S'en ■vejie'b un Jage jotS — Jubinal, Nouv. Eec, ii. 217. 

The fpirit of the goliards continued to exift long after the name had 
been forgotten j and the mafs of bitter fatire which they had left behind 
them againft the whole papal fyftem, and againft the corruptions of the 
papal church of the middle ages, were a perfeft godfend to the reformers 
of the fixteenth century, who could point to them triumphantly as 
irrefiftible evidence in their favour. Such fcholars as Flacius Illyricus, 
eagerly examined the manufcripts which contained this goliardic poetry, 
and printed it, chiefly as good and efFe£live weapons in the great religious 
flrife which was then convulfing European fociety. To us, befides their 
intereft as literary compofitions, they have alfo a hiftorical value, for they 
introduce us to a more intimate acquaintance with the charafter of the 
great mental ftruggle for emancipation from mediaeval darknefs which 
extended efpecially through the thirteenth century, and which was only 
overcome for a while to begin more ftrongly and more fuccefsfully at a 
later period. They difplay to us the grofs ignorance, as well as the 
corruption of manners, of the great mafs of the mediaeval clergy. 
Nothing can be more amufing than the fatire which fome of thefe pieces 
throw on the chara<5ler of monkilh Latin. I printed in the " Reliquae 
Antiquae," under the title of "The Abbot of Gloucefter's Feaft," a 
complaint fuppofed to ilTue from the mouth of one of the common herd 
of the monks, againft the felfiilinefs of their fuperiors, in which all the 
rules of Latin grammar are entirely fet at defiance. The abbot and prior 
of Gloucefter, with their whole convent, are invited to a feaft, and on 

in Literature and Art. 175 

their arrival, " the abbot," lays the complainant, " goes to fit at the top, 
and the prior next to him, but I Itood always in the back place among 
the low people." 

j4bbas Irt fede furfunif 
Et prior'u juxta ipjum ; 
Ego Jcmpcr J}a'ui dorjum 

inter rafcalilia. 

The wme was ferved liberally to the prior and the abbot, but "notliing 
was give to us poor folks — everything was for the rich." 

V]num "venlt Janguinatis 
Ad prioris et abbatis ; ' 
Nihil nobis paupertatisy 

Jed ad di-ves omnia. 

When fome diflatisfadion was difplayed by the poor monks, which the 
creat men treated with contempt, "laid the prior to the abbot, 'They have 
wine enough; will you give all our drink to the poor? What does their 
poverty regard us ? they have little, and that is enough, fince they came 
uninvited to our feaft.' " 

Prior dixit ad abbatis, 
' If>/i habent vinum fatis ; 
Vultis dare paupertalis 

nojler potui omnia ? 
Sluid nos fpefiat paupertalis ? 
Pojiquam -venit non -vocatis 

ad nofter con-vi-via.^ 

Thus through feveral pages this amufing poem goes on to defcribe the 
gluttony and drunkennels of the abbot and prior, and the ill-treatment of 
their inferiors. Ihis compofition belongs to the clofe of the thirteenth 
century. A fong very fimilar to it in charader, but much lliorter, is 
found in a manufcript of the middle of the fifteenth century, and printed 
with the other contents of this manufcript in a little volume ifl'ued by the 
I'crcy Society.* The writer complains that the abbot and prior drunk 

 " Songs and CaroN, now first printed from a Manuscript ot tlic Fifteenth 
Century. ' Edited by Tliomaii Wright, Ksq. 8vo., London, 1847, p. *. 

176 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

good and high-flavoured wine, while nothing but inferior fluff was 
uiually given to the convent; "But," he fays, "it is better to 
go drink good wine at the tavern, where the wines are of the bell 
quaUty, and money is the butler." 

Bonum •v'mum cum fapore 
Bibit abbas cunt priore ; 
Sed con-vent us de pejore 

Jemper Jolet bibere. 
Bonum "vinum in taberna, 
Ubi -vinafunt -valarna (for Falema), 
Ubi nummus eji pincerna, 

Ibi prodejl bibere. 

Partly out of the earnefl:, though playful, fatire defcribed in this chapter, 
arofe political fatire, and ai a later period political caricature. I have 
before remarked that the period we call the middle ages was not that of 
political or perfonal caricature, becaufe it wanted that means of circulating 

J 06 oj. 

I No. III. Ct2ricature upon the Jews at Norivich. 

quickly and largely which is neceffary for it. Yet, no doubt, men who 
could draw, did, in the middle ages, fometimes amufe themfelves in 
fketching caricatures, which, in general, have periflied, becaufe noboay 
cared to preferve them; but the fa6t of the exiflence of fuch works is 

/// Literature and Art. 


proved by a very curious example, which has been prelerved, and which 
is copied in our cut No. iii. It is a caricature on the Jews of Norwich, 
which Ibme one ot" the clerks of the king's courts in the thirteenth century 
has drawn with a pen, on one of the otiicial rolls of the Pell office, where 
it has been preferved. Norwich, as it is well known, was one of the 
principal feats of the Jews in England at this early period, and Ifaac of 
Norwich, the crowned Jew with three faces, who towers over the other 
figures, was no doubt fonie perfonage of great importance among them. 
Dagon, as a two-headed demon, occupies a tower, which a party of demon 
knights is attacking. Beneath the ligure of Ifaac there is a lady, whofe 
name appears to be Avezarden, who has fome relation or other with a 
male figure named NoUe-Mokke, in which another demon, named 
Colbif, is interfering. As this latter name is 
written in capital letters, we may perhaps con- 
clude that he is the moft important perfonage 
in the fcene 5 but, without any knowledge of 
the circumllances to which it relates, it would 
be in vain to attempt to explain this curious 
and rather elaborate caricature. 

Similar attempts at caricature, though leis 
dirett and elaborate, are found in others of our 
national records. One of thefe, pointed out to 
me by an excellent and refpefted friend, 
the Rev. Lambert B. Larking, is peculiarly in- 
terefiing, as well as amufing. It belongs to the 
Treafury cf the Exchequer, and confifts of two 
volumes of vellum called Liber A and Liber B, 
forming a regifter of treaties, marriages, and 
limilar documents of the reign of Edward L, 
which have been very fully ufed by Rymer. 
The clerk who was employed in writing it, 
Icems to have been, like many of thefe official 
clerks, fomewhat of a wag, and he has amufed himfcif by drawing 
10 the margin figures of the inhabitants of the provinces of Edwaul i 

1^0. 112. An Ir'ijhman. 

lyB Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

crown to which the documents referred. Some of thefe are evidently 
defigned for caricature. Thus, the figure given in our cut No. H2 was 
intended to reprefent an Irilliman. One trait, at leaft, in this caricature 
is well known from the defcription given by Giraldus Cambrenfis, who 
Ipeaks with a fort of horror of the formidable axes which the Irifli were 
accuftomed to carry about with them. In treating of the manner in 
which Ireland ought to be governed when it had been entirely reduced 
to fubjeftion, he recommends that, " in the meantime, they ought not 
to be allowed in time of peace, on any pretence or in any place, to ufe 
that deteftable inilrument of deflruftion, which, by an ancient but accurfed 
cuftom, they conftantly carry in their hands inflead of a 
flaff." In a chapter of his "Topography of Ireland," 
Giraldus treats of this " ancient and wicked cuftom " 
of always carrying in their hand an axe, inftead of a 
ftaff, to the danger of all perfons who had any relations 
with them. Another Irilliman, from a drawing in the 
fame manufcript, given in our cut No. 113, carries his 
axe in the fame threatening attitude. The coftume of 
thefe figures anfwers with fuflicient accuracy to the de- 
fcription given by Giraldus Cambrenfis. The drawings 
exhibit more exadly than that -writer's defcription the 
"fmall clofe-fitting hoods, hanging a cubit's length 
(half-a-yard) below the flioulders," which, he tells us, 
they were accuftomed to wear. This fmall hood, with the flat cap 
attached to it, is fhown better perhaps in the fecond figure than in the 
firfl. The " breeches and hofe of one piece, or hofe and breeches joined 
together," are alio exhibited here very diftindly, and appear to be tied 
over the heel, but the feet are clearly naked, and evidently the ufe 
of the " brogues " was not yet general among the Irifii of the thirteenth 

If the Welfhman of this period was fomewhat more fcantily clothed 
than the Irilhman, he had the advantage of him, to judge by this 
manufcript, in wearing at leaft one flioe. Our cut No. 114, taken from 
U, reprefents a Welfliman armed with bow and arrow, whole clothing !j 

t7o. 113 Another 
Irijhmar . 

i?i Liter ature nini Art. 


confifts apparently only of a plain tunic and a light mantlo. This is 
quite in accordance with the defcription by Giraldus Canibrenlis, w ho 
tells us that in all feafons their drefs was the fame, and that, however 
ievere the weather, " they defended themfelves from the cold only by a 
thin cloak and tunic." Giraldus fays nothing of the praftice of the 
Wehh in wearing but one fhoe, yet it is evident that at the time of this 
record that was their praftice, for in another figure of a Wellliman, given 

Ac. 114. A Wclfl} Archer. 

A'c. 1 15. A H'eljhman ivith h'n Spear. 

in our cut No. iij, we fee the fame peculiarity, and in both cafes the fhoe 
is W(irn on the left foot. Giraldus merely fays that the Wellhmen in 
general, when engaged in warfare, " either walked bare-footed, or made 
ufe of high ihocs, roughly made of untanned leather." He delcribes 
them as armed i'ometimes with bows and arrows, and fometimes with 
long fpears ; and accordingly our firft example of a Wellhman from this 
manufcript is ufing the bow, while the fecond carries the ("pear, which 
he apparently relis on the fingle fhoe of his left foot, while he hrandilhes 
a Cword in his left hand. Both our Wellhmen prefent .1 (ingiiljrly 
giolcfque appearance. 

i8o Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefque 

The Gafcon is reprefented with more peaceful attributes. Gafcony 
was the country of vineyards, from whence we drew our great fupply of 
wines, a very important article of confumption in the middle ages. 

When the official clerk who wrote this 
manufcript came to documents relating to 
Gafcony, his thoughts wandered naturally 
enough to its rich vineyards and the wine 
they fupplied fo plentifully, and to which, 
according to old reports, clerks feldom 
Ihowed any diflike, and accordingly, in 
the Iketch, which we copy m our cut 
No. 1 1 6, we have a Gafcon occupied 
diligently in pruning his vine-tree. He, 
at leaft, wears two fhoes, though his 
clothing is of the lighteft defcription. 
He is perhaps the vin'itor of the mediaeval 
documents on this fubjeft, a ferf attached 
to the vineyard. Our fecond Iketch, cut No. 117, prefents a more 
enlarged fcene, and introduces us to the whole procefs of making wine. 
Firft we fee a man better clothed, with fhoes (or boots) of much fupenor 

No. 116. A Gafcon at hh Vine. 

No. 117. The Wine ManufaSiurer. 

make, and a hat on his head, carrying away the grapes from the vineyard 
to the place where another man, with no clothing at all, is treading out 
ihe juice in a large vat. This is ftili in fwmts of the wine countries 

in Literature and Art. 


the common method of extrading the juice from the grape. Further; to 
the left is the large calk in which the juice is put when turned into wine. 
Satires on the people of particular localities were not uncommon 
during the middle ages, becaufe local rivalries and confequent local feuds 
prevailed everj'where. The records of fuch feuds were naturally of a 
temporary chara(5ler, and perillied when the feuds and rivalries themfelves 
ceafed to exirt, but a few curious fatires of this kind have been preferved. 
A monk of Peterborough, who lived late in the twelfth or early in the 
thirteenth century, and for fome reafon or other nourilhed an unfriendly 
feeling to the people of Norfolk, gave vent to his holliliiy in a ihort 
Latin poem in what we may call goliardic verfe. He begins by abufing 
the county itfelf, which, he fays, was as bad and unfruitful as its 
inhabitants were vile ; and lie fuggefts that the evil one, when he fled 
trom the anger of the Almighty, had palfed through it and left his 
pollution upon it. Among other anecdotes of the fimplicity and folly of 
the people of this county, which clofely refemble the ftories of the wife 
men of Gotham of a later date, he informs us that one day the peafantry 
of one dillridt were fo grieved by the oppreflions of their feudal lord, that 
they fubfcribed together and bought their freedom, which he fecured to 
them by formal deed, ratified with a ponderous feal. They adjourned to 
the tavern, and celebrated their deliverance by feafting and drinking 
until night came on, and then, for want of a candle, they agreed to burn 
the wax of the feal. Next day their former lord, informed of what had 
taken place, brought them before a court, wiiere the deed was judged to 
be void for want of the feal, and they loll all their money, were reduced 
to their old pofition of ilavery, and treated worfe than ever. Other 
llories, llill more ridiculous, are told of thefe old Norfolkians, but few of 
them are worth repeating. Another monk, apparently, who calls himfelf 
J(jhn dc St. Omer, took up the cudgels for the people of Norfolk, and re- 
plied to the Peterborough fatirift in fimilar language.* I have printed in 

• Hoth tli(«-c pocnr. arc printed in my " Early Mysteries, and otiicr Latin Poems 
of the I welhh and Thirteenth Centuries." 8vo., London, I'ii'i. 

82 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

another CoUeftion,* a fatirical poem againft the people of a place called 
Stockton (perhaps Stockton-on-Tees in Durham), by the monk of a 
monaftic houfe, of which they were ferfs. It appeared that they had 
rifen againft the tyranny of their lord, but had been unfuccefsful in 
defending their caufe in a court of law, and the ecclefiaftlcal fatirift 
exults over their defeat in a very uncharitable tone. There will be found 
in the " Reliquae Antiquae,"t a very curious fatire in Latin profe direfted 
againft the inhabitants of Rochefter, although it is in truth aimed againft 
Engliftimen in general, and is entitled in the manufcript, which is of the 
fourteenth century, " Proprietates Anglicorum " (the Peculiarities of 
EngUftimen). In the firll place, we are told, that the people of Rochefter 
had tails, and the queftion is difcufled, very fcholaftically, what fpecies 
of animals thefe Roceftrians were. We are then told that the caufe of 
their deformity arofe from the infolent manner in which they treated 
St. Auguftine, when he came to preach the Gofpel to the heathen Enghfh. 
After vifiting many parts of England, the faint came to Rochefter, where 
the people, inftead of liftening to him, hooted at him through the ftreets, 
and, in derifion, attached tails of pigs and calves to his veftments, and 
fo turned him out of the city. The vengeance of Heaven came upon 
them, and all who inhabited the city and the country round it, and their 
defcendants after them, were condemned to bear tails exa6tly like 
thofe of pigs. This ftory of the tails was not an invention of the author 
of the fatire, but was a popular legend connected with the hiftory of 
St. Augulline's preaching, though the fcene of the legend was laid in 
Dorfetftiire. The writer of this Angular compofition goes on to defcrib ; 
the people of Rochefter as feducers of other people, as men withov t 
gratitude, and as traitors. He proceeds to ftiow that Rochefter beir g 
filuated in England, its vices had tainted the whole nation, and ne 
illuftrates the bafenefs of the Englifti charafter by a number of anecdotes 
of worfe than doubtful authenticity. It is, in fa6t, a fatire on the Englifti 
compofed m France, and leads us into the domains of political fatire. 

* " Anecdota Liteiaria," p. 49. t *" Reliquae Antique?," vol. ii. p. 230. 

ifi Literature and Art. t 8 3 

Political latire in the middle ages appeared chiefly in the form of 
poetry and fong, and it was efpecially in England that it flourifhed, a fure 
lign that there was in our country a more advanced feeling of popular 
independence, and greater freedom of fpeech, than in France or 
Germany.* M. Leroux de Lincy, who undertook to make a collection of 
this poetry for France, found fo little during the mediaeval period that 
came under the chara6ter of political, that he was obliged to fubrtitute 
the word "hiltorical" in the title of his book.f Where feudalifm was 
fupreme, indeed, the fongs which arofe out of private or public ftrife, 
which then were almoft infeparable from fociety, contained no political 
fentiment, but conliiled chiefly of perfonal attacks on the opponents of 
thole who employed them. Such are the four fliort fongs written in the 
time of the revolt of the French during the minority of St. Louis, which 
commenced in 12263 they are all of a political charafter which 
M. Leroux de Lincy has been able to colle6t previous to the year 
i2;o, and they confift merely of perfonal taunts againft the courtiers by 
the dilfatisfied barons who were out of power. We trace a fimilar feeling 
in fome of the popular records of our baronial wars of the reign of 
Henr}' IIL, efpecially in a fong, in the baronial language (Anglo-Norman), 
prclened in a fmall roll of vellum, which appears to have belonged 
to the minftrel who chanted it in the halls of the partifans of Simon de 
Monilort. The fragment which remains conlifts of ftanzas in praife of 
the leaders of the ])opular party, and in reproach of their opponents. 
'Ihus of Roger de Cliflbrd, one of earl Simon's friends, we are told that 
" the good Roger de Cliflord behaved like a noble baron, and exercifed 

• I have published from the original manuscripts tlie massoftlie political poetry 
composed in England during the middle ages in my three volumes— "The Political 
bon^N ot England, (rom the Reign of John to that ot Edward II." 4to., London, 
|8}V (i-tued by the Camden Society) ; and " Political Poems and Songs relating to 
EnKii>h History, composed during the Period from the Accession of Edward III. 
to that of Richar<l III." 8vo., vol i., London, 1859; vol. ii., 1861 (published by 
the Pria'.ury, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls.) 

t " RcccuiJ dc Chants Historiques Francais depuis le xii*. jusqu'au xviiT. 
SiVic, par Leroux dc Lin(y .... Premiere SiSrie, xii" , xiii'., xiv'., et x■.^, Siedes." 
Sv. , Pa.iv, 1841. 

184 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqiic 

great juffice ; he fufFered none^ either fmall or great, or fecretly or 
openly, to do any wrong." 

Et de Cl'iffort ly hon Roger 
Sc contint cum noble her. 

Si fu de grant jujiice ; 
Ne fuffri pas petit ne grant, 
Ne arere ne par de-vant. 

Fere nul mejprije. 

On the other hand, one of Montfort's opponents, the bifhop of Hereford, 
is treated rather contemptuoufly. We are told that he "learnt well that 
the earl was ftrong when he took the matter in hand 5 before that he 
(the bifhop) was very fierce, and thought to eat up all the Englifh ; but 
now he is reduced to ftraits." 

Ly e-vejke de Herefort 

Sout bien que ly quens fu fort^ 

Kant il prili Vaffere ; 
De-vant ce ejieit mult fer, 
Les Englais quida tou% manger, 

Mes ore ne Jet que fere. 

This bifhop was Peter de Aigueblanche, one of the foreign favourites, who 
had been intruded into the lee of Hereford, to the exclufion of a better 
man, and had been an oppreflbr of thofe who were under his rule. The 
barons feized him, threw him into prifon, and plundered his polTeffions, 
and at the time this fong was written, he was fuffering under the imprilbn- 
ment which appears to have iliortened his life. 

The univerfities and the clerical body in general were deeply involved 
in thefe political movements of the thirteenth century 3 and our earlieft 
political fongs now known are compofed in Latin, and in that form and 
ftyle of verfe which feems to have been peculiar to the gohards, and 
which I venture to call goliardic. Such is a fong againft the three bifliops 
who fupported king John in his quarrel with the pope about the prefen- 
ration to the fee of Canterbury, printed in my Political Songs. Such, too, 
in til 2 fong of the Wellh, and one or two others, in the fame volume. 
And fuch, above all, is that remarkable Latin poem in which a partifan 

in Literature a?id Art. 1 8 5 

of the barons, immediately after the victory at Lewes, fet forth the 
poHtical tenets of his party, and gave the principles of EngUfh liberty 
nearly the fame broad bafis on which they Hand at the prefent. It is an 
evidence of the extent to which thefe principles were now acknowledged, 
that in this great baronial llruggle our political fongs began to be written 
in the Englilh language, an acknowledgment that they concerned the 
whole Englilh public. 

\\'e trace little of this clafsof literature during the reign of Edward I.j 
but, when the popular feelings became turbulent again under the reign of 
his fon and fuccellbr, political fongs became more abundant, and their fatire 
was direcbled more even than formerly againft meafures and principles, 
and was lefs an inllrument of mere perfonal abufe. One fatirical poem 
of this period, which I had printed from an imperfe6t copy in a manu- 
fcript at Edinburgh, but of which a more complete copy was fubfequently 
found in a manufcript in the library of St. Peter's College, Cambridge,* 
IS extremely curious as being the earlieft fatire of this kind written in 
Englifh that we polVefs. It appears to have been written in the year 
1320. The writer of this poem begins by telling us that his obje£t is to 
explain the caufeof the war, ruin, and manilaughter which then prevailed 
throughout the land, and why the poor were fuft'ering from hunger and 
want, the cattle perifhed in the field, and the corn was dear. Theit; he 
afcribes to the increafing wickednels of all orders of fociety. To begin 
with the church, Rome was the head of all corruptions, at the papal 
court falfehood and treachery only reigned, and the door of the pope's 
palace was Ihut againft truth. During the twelfth and following centuries 
tliefe comj)laints, in terms more or lefs forcible, againft the corruptions of 
Rome, are continually repealed, and Ihow that the evil mull have been 
one under which everybody felt opprell'ed. I'he old charge of Romilh 
limony is repeated in this poem in very Ilrong terms. " I'he clerk's voice 
Ihall be little heard at the court of Rome, were he ever lb good, unlets 

* " A Poem on the Times of Ivlward III., from a MS. preserved in the Library 
^of St. Peter's Colletjc, Cainbriilf^e." KditL-d by the Rev. C li.irdwick. 8\o. 
London, 1849. (One ol the publications ot the Percy Society.) 

1 86 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

he bring filv^er with him ; though he were the hoheft man that ever was 
born, unlefs he bring gold or lilver, all his time and anxiety are loft. 
Alas ! why love they io much that which is perithable ? " 

Voyi of clerk Jhall lytyl he heard at the court of Rome, 
' Were he never Jo gode a clerk, loithout Jil'ver and he come ; 

Though he ivere the holyji man that ever yet ivas ibore, 
But he bryng gold or Jyl-ver, al hyi ivhile is for lore 

And his thoixjght. 
Alias ! ivhi lo'ue thei that jo much that jchal turne to noivght ? 

When, on the contrary, a wicked man prefented himfelf at the pope's 
court, he had only to carry plenty of money thither, and all went well 
with him. According to our fatirift, the bifliops were "fools," and the 
other dignitaries and officials of the church were influenced chiefly by the 
love of money and felf-indulgence. The parfon began humbly, when he 
flril obtained his benefice, but no fooner had he gathered money together, 
than he took " a wenche " to live with him as his wife, and rode a 
hunting with hawks and hounds like a gentleman. The priefts were 
men with no learning, who preached by rote what they neither under- 
ftood nor appreciated. "Truely," he fays, "it fares by our unlearned 
priefts as by a jay in a cage, who curfes himfelf: he fpeaks good Englilh, 
but he knows not what it means. No more does an unlearned prieft 
know his gofpel that he reads daily. An unlearned prieft, then, is no 
better than a jay." 

Certes atfo hyt fareth by a preji that is letved, 
yis by a jay in a cage that hymjelf hath bejhrnved : 
Gode Englyjh he fpeketh, but he not never ivhat. 
No more luot a leiued preji hys gojpel luat he rat 

By day. 
Than is a hived preji no better than a jay. 

Abbots and priors were remarkable chiefly for their pride and luxury, and 
the monks naturally followed their examples. Thus was religion debafed 
everywhere. The chara6ter of the phyfician is treated with equal feverity, 
and his various tricks to obtain money are amufingly defcribed. In this 
manner the fongfter prefents to view the failings of the various orders of 
lay fociety alfo, the felfiftinels and opprellive bearing of the knights and 

/// Literature and Art. i 87 

arirtocracy, and their extravagance in drefs and living, the negled of 
jurtice, the ill-management of the wars, the weight of taxation, and all 
the other evils which then afHided the ftate. This poem marks a period 
in our focial hiftorj', and Ifd the way to that larger work of the fame 
charader, which came about thirty years later, the well-known " Vifions 
of Piers Ploughman,'"* one of the moft remarkable fatires, as well as one 
ot the moll remarkable poems, in the Englifh language. 

We will do no more than glance at the further progrefs of political 
fatire which had now taken a permanent footing in Englifh literature. 
We fee lefs of it during the reign of Edward III., the greater part of 
which was occupied with foreign wars and triumphs, but there appeared 
towards the clofe of his reign, a very remarkable fatire, which I have 
printed in my " Political Poems and Songs." It is written in Latin, and 
confirts ot a pretended prophecy in verfe by an inl'pircd monk named 
John of Bridlington, with a mock commentary in profe — in fa6t, a parody 
on the commentaries in which the fcholaftics of that age difplayed their 
learning, but in this cafe the commentary contains a bold though to us 
rather obfcure criticifm on the whole policy of Edward's reign. Tlu- reign 
of Richard II. was convulfed by the great ftruggle for religious reform, 
by the infurreftions of the lower orders, and by the ambition and feuds of 
the nobles, and produced a valt quantity of political and religious fatire, 
both in profe and verfe, but efpecially the latter. We muft not overlook 
our great poet Chaucer, as one of the powerful fatirifls of this period. 
Political fong next makes itfelf heard loudly in the wars of the Rofes. 
It was the laft ftruggle of feudalifm in England, and the charader of the 
fong had fallen back to its earlier chara6teriftics, in which all patriotic 
ftelings were abandoned to make place for perfonal hatred. 

• "The Vision and the Creed of Piers Ploughman ;" with Notes and a Glossary 
by Thoma.% Wright. 2 vols. i2mo. London, 1842. Second and rtvibtd cilition, 
2 vols. i2mo. London, 1856. 

1 8 8 Hijiory of Caricature a?id Grotefque 







ONE of the principal clafles of the fatirifts of the middle ages, the 
minftrels, or jougleurs, were far from being unamenable to fatire 
themfelves. They belonged generally to a low clafs of the population, 
one that was hardly acknowledged by the law, which merely adminillered 
to the pleafures and amufements of others, and, though fometimes 
liberally rewarded, they were objects rather of contempt than of refpett. 
Of courfe there were minftrels belonging to a clafs more refpeftable than 
the others, but thefe were comparatively few ; and the ordinary minftrel 
feems to have been limply an unprincipled vagabond, who hardly 
polfelfed any fettled refting-place, who wandered about from place to 
place, and was not too nice as to the means by which he gained his 
living — perhaps fairly reprefented by the ftreet minftrel, or mountebank, 
of the prefent day. One of his talents was that of mocking and ridiculing 
others, and it is not to be wondered at, therefore, if he fometimes became 
an obje6t of mockery and ridicule himfelf. One of the well-known 
minftrels of the thirteenth century, Rutebeuf, was, like many of his 
fellows, a poet alfo, and he has left feveral fhort pieces of verfe defcriptive 
of himfelf and of his own mode of life. In one of thefe he complains of 
his poverty, and tells us that the world had in his time — the reign of 
St. Louis — become fo degenerate, that few people gave anything to the 
unfortunate minftrel. According to his own account, he was without 

in Literature and Art. i 89 

food, and in a fair way towards ftarvation, expofed to the cold without 
futficient clothing, and with nothing but ftraw for his bed. 

Je tou% defroit, de fain baailUf 

Dont je fuis mors et mautai/Hzf 

y< Juis fanz coutes et jam liz ; 

N^a Ji povre juJqWa Senlix. 

Sire,Ji ne fai quel part allle ; 

Mei cojieiz connoit le pail/iz. 

El iiz de paille n'eji pas iiz, 

Et en mon lit na fors la paille. — CEuvres de Eutebeuf, vol. i. p. 3, 

In another poem, Rutebeuf laments that he has rendered his condition 
ftill more miferable by marrying, when he had not wherewitli to keep a 
wife and family. In a third, he complains that in the midtl of his 
poverty, his wife has brought him a child to increafe his domellic 
expenfes, while his horfe, on which he was accuftomed to travel to places 
where he might exercife his profellion, had broken its leg, and his nurfe 
was dunning him for money. In addition to all thefe caufes of grief, he 
had loll the ufe of one of his eyes. 

Or a d^ enfant geu ma fame ; 
M'jn cheval a hrife la jame 

A une lice ; 
Or -veut de Pargent ma norrice, 
£^i m\n dejiraint et me peitccy 

For r enfant peftre. 

Throughout his complaint, although he laments over the decline of 
liberality among his contemporaries, he neverthelefs turns his poverty into 
a joke. In feveral other pieces of verfe he fpeaks in the fame way, half 
joking and half lamenting over his condition, and he does not conceal that 
the love of gambling was one of the caufes of it. " The dice," he fays, 
" have flripped me entirely of my robe ; the dice watch and fpy me ; it 
is thefe which kill me; they alfault and ruin me, to my grief." 

hi de' que li de'tier ont fet., 
M'ont de ma rcbe tout desfet ; 

Li de' m''ocient. 
Li de m^aguetent et ejpient ; 
Li de' m'aj/tiiilent el dfjfsrnt, 

Ce poije mo/. — lb,, vol. 1. p. C7. 

190 Ilijiory of Caricature a?id Grotefque 

And elfewhere he intimates that what the minftrels fometimes gained 
from the lavilTi generoiity of their hearers, foon paffed away at the tavern 
in dice and drinking. 

One of Rutebeuf s contemporaries in the fame profeliion, Cohn Mufet, 
indulges in fimilar complaints, and fpeaks bitterly of the want of generoiity 
difplayed by the great barons of his time. In addreffing one of them 
who had treated hira ungeneroufly, he fays, " Sir Count, I have fiddled 
before you in your hoftel, and you neither gave me a gift, nor paid 
me my wages. It is difcreditable behaviour. By the duty I owe to 
St. Mary, I cannot continue in your fervice at this rate. My purfe is ill 
furnilhed, and my wallet is empty." 

Sire quens, j'ai "viele 
Dcvant 'vos en ■uojlre ojiel ; 
Si ne irCwvez r'tens donne\ 
Ne mes gages acquiiez, 

Cefl -vilame. 
Fo'i que dot Jainte Marie, 
Enji ne -vos Jieurre-je mie. 
M'aumojniere eji nial garnie, 
Et ma male mal farfie. 

He proceeds to ftate that when he went home to his wife (for Colm 
Mufet alfo was a married minflrel), he was ill received if his purfe 
and wallet were empty ; but it was very different when they were full. His 
wife then fprang forward and threw her arms round his neck ; flie took 
his wallet from his horfe with alacrity, while his lad conducted the 
animal cheerfully to the liable, and his maiden killed a couple of capons, 
and prepared them with piquant fauce. His daughter brought a comb for 
his hair. "Then," he exclaims, "I am mafter in my own houfe.' 

Ma fame -va dejlrofer 
Ma male Jans demorer ; 
Man gar^n -va ahwvrer 
Mon chenjal et conreer ; 
Ma pucele -va tuer 
Deux chapons for deporter 

A la jauje aillie. 
Ma jille m'aporte un p'gne 
En fa main par cortoifie. 
Lors Jul de mon ofiel/ire. 

i)i Literature arid Art. 


When the minilrels could thus joke upon themfelves, we need not be 
furprifed if they fatiriled one another. In a poem of the thirteenth 
century, entitled " Les deux Troveors Ribauz," two minilrels are introduced 
on tlie ftage abufing and infulting one another, and while indulging in 
mutual accufations of ignorance in their art, they dil'play their ignorance 
at the fame time by mifquoting the titles of the poems which they prottls 
to be able to recite. One of them boalls of the variety of inltruments on 
which he could perform : — 

ye Juh jugleres de v'lele, 
Si fai de mufe et de freJieUy 
El de hat pes et de c/iifonle, 
De la gigue, de l^armoniey 
De rfalleire, et en la rote 
Sai-ge blen chanter une note. 

It appears, however, that among all thefe inltruments, the viol, or liddle, 
was the one moll generally in ufe. 

The mediaeval monuments of art abound with burlefques and fatires 
on the minrtrels, whofe inltruments of mufic are 
pkced in the hands fometimes of monfters, and at 
others in thofe of animals of a not very retined cha- 
rader. Our cut No. ii8 is taken from a manufcript 
in the Britilh Mufeum (MS. Cotton, Domitian A. ii.), 
and reprefents a female minftrel playing on the 
fiddle ; ihe has the upper part of a lady, and the 
lower parts of a mare, a combination which appears 
to have been rather familiar to the imagination oi the 
mediaeval artifts. In our cut No. 119, which is taken 
from a copy made by Carter of one of the mifereres 
in Ely Cathedral, it is not quite clear whether the 
performer on the fiddle be a monller or merely a 
cripple; but perhaps the latter was intended. The inllriniieui, loo, 
all'unies a rather fingular form. Our cut No 120, alio taken from Carter, 
was furnilhed by a fculplure in the church of St. John, at Cirenceller, 
and reprefents a man performing on an indrunient rather clofely 
rclcinbling the modern hurdy-gurdy, which is evidently played by 

tJo, 118. A Charming 


1^2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

turning a handle, and the mufic is produced by ftriking wires or iirings 



1 >' -^^ v!/i//r"^^^^ 

^ — ^*°T'^^\ "ii^fev 









7ffi^» Jf^^KT^MP 




%iPi|pP ^^!WP«"' 

No. 1 1 9. A Crippled Minjirel. 

inlide. The face is evidently intended to be that of a jovial companicR. 

No. 120. The Hurdy-Gurdy. 

Gluttony was an efpecial charaderillic of that clafs of fociety to which 

in Literature and Art. 


the minllrc-l belonged, and perhaps this was the idea intended to be con- 

Ko.XZl, A ^ivin.jh Mlnftrel. 

veyed in the next pidure. No. 121, taken from one of the flails in Win- 

A'o. 112, A Mufical Mother. 

chlflcr Cathedral, in which a pig is performing on the fiddle, and app?.7r» 

194 Hi (lory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

to be accompanied by a juvenile of the fame fpecies of animal. One of 
the fame flails, copied in our cut No. 122, reprefents a fow performing 
on another fort of mufical inllrument, which is not at all uncommon in 
mediaeval delineations. It is the double pipe or flute, which was evidently 
borrowed from the ancients. Minflrelfy was the ufual accompaniment 
of the mediaeval meal, and perhaps this piclure is intended to be a 
burlefque on that circumftance, as the mother is playing to her brood 
while they are feeding. They all feem to hflen quietly, except one, who 
is evidently much more affefted by the mufic than his companions. The 
fame inflrument is placed in the hands of a rather jolly-looking female in 

No. 123. The Double Flute, 

one of the fculptures of St. John's Church in Cirencefter, copied in our 
cut No. 123. 

Although this inflrument is rather frequently reprefented in mediaeval 
works of art, we have no account of or allufion to it in mediaeval writers ; 
and perhaps it was not held in very high eftimation, and was ufed only 
by a low clafs of performers. As in many other things, the employment 
jf particular mufical inftruments was guided, no doubt, by fafliion, new 
ones coming in as old ones went out. Such was the cafe with the 

in Literature and Art. 1 9 5 

inltrumtrnt which is named in one of the above extracts, and in fome 
other mediaeval writers, a chiffonie, and which has been luppofed to be 
the dulcimer, that had fallen into difcredit in the fourteenth century. 
This inflrument is introduced in a llory which is found in Cuvelier's 
metrical hiltory of the celebrated warrior Bertrand du GucfcHn. In the 
courfe oi the war for the expulhon of Pedro the Cruel from the throne of 
Caftile, an Englifh knight, Sir Matthew Gournay, was lent as a fpecial 
ambalfador to the court of Portugal. The Portuguefe monarch had in his 
fenice two minllrels whofe performances he vaunted greatly, and on 
whom he let great (lore, and he infixed on their performing in tlie 
prefence of the new ambaHador. It turned out that they played on the 
inrtrumenl juft mentioned, and Sir Matthew Gournay could not refrain 
from laughing at the performance. When the king prefled him to give 
his opinion, he faid, with more regard for truth than politenefs, " In 
France and Normandy, the inftruments your minltrels play upon are 
regarded with contempt, and are only in ufe among beggars and blind 
people, lb that they are popularly called beggar's inllruments." The king, 
we are told, took great offence at the bluntnefs of his Englilh gueft. 

The fiddle itfelf appears at this time to have been gradually finking in 
credit, and the poets complained that a degraded tafte for more vulgar 
mufical inftruments was introducing itfelf. Among thefe we may mention 
efpecially the pipe and tabor. The French antiquary, M. Jubinal, in a 
very valuable colle6tion of early popular poetry, publifiied under the title 
of" Jongleurs et Trouveres," has printed a curious poem of the thirteenth 
or fourteenth century, intended as a proteft againft the ufe of the tabor 
and the bagpipes, which he chara6terifes as properly the mufical inllru- 
ments of the peafantry. Yet people then, he fays, were becoming fo 
befotted on fuch inftruments, that they introduced them in ])laces where 
better minftrelfy would be more fuitable. I'he writer tliinks that the 
introduction of fo vulgar an inflrument as the tabor into grand teilivals 
could be looked upon in no other light than as one of the figns which 
might be expelled to be the precurfors (jf tiie coming of Antichrift. " if 
fuch "people are to come to grand fcftivals as carry a bulhel {i.e. a tabor 
made in tlic form of a buftiel mcal'urc, ov\ the end of which they btai], 

196 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

and make fuch a terrible noife, it would feem that Antichrift muft now be 
being born ; people ought to break the head of each of them with a ftatF." 

De'ujfent it'iels gen% -venir a hele fejle 
Slut portent un hoijfcl, qui mainent tel tempefte, 
II jamble que Antecrifl dole maintenant nejire ; 
Uen duroit d^un bafion chajcun brifier la tejie. 

This fatirift adds, as a proof of the contempt in which the Virgin Mary 
held fuch inflruments, that fhe never loved a tabor, or confented to hear 
one, and that no tabor was introduced among the minllrelfy at her 

No, 124. The Tabor, or Drum. 

efpoufals. "The gentle mother of God," he fays, "loved the found of 
the fiddle," and he goes on to prove her partiality for that inftrument by 
citing fonie of her miracles. 

Onques le mere Dieu, qui eft -virge honoree, 
Et eft atjoec les angles hautement coronee, 
'■ N''ama onques tab(.ur, ne point ne It agree, 

N''onques labour n^i ot quant el fu ejpoujee. 
La douce mere Dieu ama Jon de •viele. 

in Literature and Art. 


The artift who can-ed the curious ftalls in Henry VII. 's Chapel at 
Weftminlter, feems to have entered fully into the fpirit difplayed by this 
latirirt, for in one of them, reprefented in our cut No. 124, he has 
introduced a malked demon playing on the tabor, with an exprellion 
apparently of derifion. This tabor prefents much the form of a bullit- 1 
meafure, or rather, perhaps, of a modern drum. It may be remarked 
that the drum is, in fad, the fame inftrument as the tabor, or, at leaft, is 
derived from it, and they were called by the fame names, labor or 
tamlour. The Englilh name drum, which has equivalents in the later 
forms of the Teutonic dialects, perhaps means fimply fomething which 
makes a noife, and is not, as far as I know, met with before the fixteenth 
century. Another carving of the fame feries of ftalls at Weftminfter, 
copied in our cut No. 125, reprefents a tame bear playing on the 

No. 125. Brum turned I'tftr, 

bagpipes. This is perhaps intended to be at the fame time a fatirc on 
the inftrument itfelf, and uj)on the flrange exhibitions of animals 
domefticated and taught various fingular performances, which were tlun 
f(j popular. 

1 9 8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

In our cut No. 126 we come to the fiddle again, which long luftained 
its place in the higheft rank of mufical inftruments. It is taken from one 
of the fculptures on the porch of the principal entrance to the Cathedral 
of Lyons in France, and reprefents a mermaid with her child, liftening to 
the mufic of the fiddle. She wears a crown, and is intended, no doubt. 

No. 126. Royal Minflrelfy. 

to be one of the queens of the fea, and the introduction of the fiddle 
under fuch circumftances can leave no doubt how highly it was efleemed. 
The mermaid is a creature of the imagination, which appears to have 
been at all times a favourite objeft of poetry and legend. It holds an 
important place in the mediaeval beftiaries, or popular treatifes on natural 
hiflory, and it has only been expelled from the domains of fcience at a 
comparatively recent date. It ftlU retains its place in popular legends of 
our fea-coaffs, and more efpecially in the remoter parts of our iflands. 
The flories of the merrowy or Irilh fairy, hold a prominent place among 
my late friend Crofton Croker's " Fairy Legends of the South of 
Ireland." The mermaid is alfo introduced not unfrequently in mediaeval 

/// hiterature and Art. 


Iculpture and can-ing. Our cut No. 127, reprelVnting a mermaid and a 
merman, is copied from one of the flails of Winchefler Cathedral. The 
ulual attributes of the mermaid are a looking-glafs and comb, by the aid 
of which llie is drefling her hair ; but here Ihe holds the comb alone. 

No. 127. Mcrmaidi. 

Her companion, the male, holds a filli, which he appears to have jufl 
caught, in his hand. 

While, after the fifteenth century the profeflion of the minft^rel 
became entirely degraded, and he was looked upon more than ever as a 
rogue and vagabond, the fiddle accompanied him, and it long remained, 
as it fiill remains in Ireland, the favourite inflrument of the peafantry. 
'Ihe blind fiddler, even at the prefent day, is not unknown in our rural 
diflrifts. It has always been in England the favourite inilrument of 

200 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 







FROM the employment of minftrels attached to the family, probably 
arofe another and well-known charafter of later times, the court 
fool, who took the place of fatirifl in the great houfeholds. I do not 
confider what we underftand by the court fool to be a charafter of any 
great antiquity. 

It is fomewhat doubtful whether what we call a jeft, was really 
appreciated in the middle ages. Puns feem to have been confidered as 
elegant figures of fpeech in literary compofition, and we rarely meet 
with anything like a quick and clever repartee. In the earlier ages, when 
a party of warriors would be merry, their mirth appears to have conlilled 
ufually in ridiculous boafts, or in rude remarks, or in fneers at enemies or 
opponents. Thefe jefts were termed by the French and Normans gabs 
{gab(B, in mediaeval Latin), a word fuppofed to have been derived from 
the claffical Latin word cavilla, a mock or taunt ; and a Ihort poem in 
Anglo-Norman has been preferved which furnillies a curious illuftration 
of the meaning attached to it in the twelfth century. This poem relates 
how Charlemagne, piqued by the taunts of his emprefs on the fuperiority 
of Hugh the Great, emperor of Conftantinople, went to Conftantinople, 
accompanied by his douze pairs and a thoufand knights, to verify the truth 
of his wife's flory. They proceeded firft to Jerufalem, where, when Charle- 
magne and his twelve peers entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 
they looked fo handfome and majeftic, that they were taken at firft for 

in Lifer a fare and Art. 201 

Chrift and his twelve apoliles, but the myftery was loon cleared up, and 
they were treated by the patriarch with great hofpitality during four 
months. They then continued their progrefs till they reached Conllanti- 
nople, where they were equally well received by the the emperor Hugo. 
At night the emperor placed his guefts in a chamber furnilhed with 
thirteen fplendid beds, one in the middle of the room, and the other 
twelve diftributed around it, and illuminated by a large carbuncle, which 
gave a light as bright as that of day. When Hugh left them in their 
quarters for the night, he fent them wine and whatever was neceffary to 
make them comfortable ; and, when alone, they proceeded to amufe 
themfelves with gals, or jokes, each being expefted to fay his joke in his 
turn. Charlemagne took the lead, and boafted that if the emperor Hugh 
would place before him his flrongeft " bachelor," in full armour, and 
mounted on his good fteed, he would, with one blow of his fword, cut 
him through from the head downwards, and through the faddle and 
horfe, and tliat the fword ihould, after all this, fink into the ground to 
the handle. Charlemagne then called upon Roland for his gah, who 
boafted that his breath was fo ftrong, that if the emperor Hugh would 
lend him his horn, he would take it out into the fields and blow it with 
fuch force, that the wind and noife of it would fliake down the whole 
city of Conftantinople. Oliver, whofe turn came next, boafted of exploits 
of another defcription if he were left alone with the beautiful princefs, 
Hugh's daughter. The reft of the peers indulged in fimilar boafts, and 
when the gals had gone round, they went to fleep. Now the emperor 
of Conftantinople had very cunningly, and rather treacheroufly, made a 
hole through the wall, by which all that paffed infide could be feen and 
heard, and he had placed a fpy on the outfide, who gave a full account 
of the converfation of the diftinguiihed guefts to liis imperial niafter. 
Next morning Hugh called his guefts before him, told tlRin what lie had 
heard by his fpy, and declared that each of them ftiould perform his boaft, 
or, if he failed, be put to death. Charlemagne expoftulated, ami n pre- 
fented that it was the cuftom in France when people retired for the night 
to amufe themfelves in that manner. " Such is the cuftom in France," 
he laid, " at Paris, and at Chartres, when the French are in bed ihey 

202 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

amufe themfelves and make jokes, and fay things both of wifdom and 
of folly." 

SI eji tel cujiume en France, a Paris e a Cartres, 
Siuand Francehfunt culchicz, <jue fe giuunt e gabent, 
EJi client ambure e fanier e folage. 

But Charlemagne expoftulated in vain, and they were only faved from 
the confequeace of their imprudence by the intervention of fo many 
miracles from above.* 

In fuch trials of Ikill as this, an individual muft continually have arifen 
who excelled in fome at leaft of the qualities needful for raifing mirth and 
making him a good companion, by ihowing himfelf more briUiant in w.t, 
or more biting in farcafms, or more impudent in his jokes, and he would thus 
become the favourite mirth-maker of the court, the boon companion of 
the chieftain and his followers in their hours of relaxation. We find fuch 
an individual not unufually introduced in the early romances and in the 
mythology of nations, and he fometimes unites the charader of court 
orator with the other. Such a perfonage was the Sir Kay of the cycle of 
the romances of king Arthur. I have remarked in a former chapter that 
Hunferth, in the Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf, is defcribed as holding 
a fomewhat fimilar pofition at 'the court of king Hrothgar. To go 
farther back in the mythology of our forefathers, the Loki of Scandinavian 
fable appears fometimes to have performed a fimilar charafter in the 
afTembly of his fellow deities j and we know that, among the Greeks, 
Homer on one occafion introduces Vulcan a6ting the part of joker 
(yeXwT-oTToioc) to the gods of Olympus. But all thefe have no relationfhip 
whatever to the court-fool of modern times. 

The German writer Flogel, in his " Hiflory of Court Fools,"t has 
thrown this fubje6t into much confufion by mtroducing a great mafs of 
irrelevant matter ; and thofe who have fince compiled from Flogel, have 
made the confufion ftill greater. Much of this confufion has arifen from 

* " Charlemagne, an Anglo-Norman Poem of the Twelfth Century, now first 
published, by Francisque Michel," lamo., 8vo., London, 1836. 

t " Geschichte der Hofnarren, von Karl Friedrich Flogel," 8vo. Liegnitz und 
Leipzig, 1789. 

in Literature and Art. 203 

the milunderftanding and confounding of names and terms. The minius, 
the joculator, the minirtrel, or whatever name this clafs of fuciety 
went by, was not in any refpe6ls identical with what we underlland by a 
court fool, nor does any fuch charader as the latter appear in the feudal 
houfehuld before the fourteenth century, as far as we are acquainted with 
the focial manners and cultoms of the olden time. The vaft extent of 
the early French romans dc gefte, or Carlovingian romances, whicli are 
tilled with pidures of courts both of princes and barons, in which the 
court fool mull have been introduced had he been known at the lime 
they were compofed, that is, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
contains, I believe, no trace of fuch perfonage ; and the fame may be faid 
of the numerous other romances, fabliaux, and in fad all the literature of 
that period, one fo rich in works illullrative of contemporary manners in 
their moft minute detail. From thefe fa6ts 1 conclude that the (ingle 
brief charter publiihed by ]SI. RigoUot from a manufcript in the 
Imperial Library in Paris, is either mifunderftood or it prelents a 
very exceptional cafe. By this charter, John, king of England, grants 
to his fullus, William Picol, or Piculph (as he is called at the clofe 
of the document), an ellate in Normandy named in the document 
Fons Olfanae (Menil-Ozenne in Mortain), with all its appurtenances, 
" to have and to hold, to him and to his heirs, by doing there-for to 
us once a year the fervice of cnejhllus, as long as he lives ; and after his 
death his heirs Ihall hold it of us, by the fervice of one pair of gilt fpurs 
to be rendered annually to us." * The fervice {fervitium) here enjoined 
means the annual payment of the obligation of the feudal tenure, and 

• The word- of this charter, as given by Rifjollut, are : — " Joaniits, D G., etc 
Sciatic noN ilcilisse ct prx-senti cliaita confirmasse Willclmo Picol, tollo no>tro, 
Fontcm 0>'>an2e, cum omnibus pertinenciis suis, habendum et tenendum sihi ct 
ha-rcdibus Nui'-, facicndo inde nobis annuatim servifium unius foil! ijuoad vixcrit ; 
et ()0>t ejus dcccvsum hxrtdes sui earn tcnchunt, et per scivitiuni unius paris calca- 
riom dcauratorum nobis annuatim leddendo. Quare volumus et fiimiter prxcipimus 
quod pn-dictus Piculphus et hseredes sui habeant et teneant in pcrpctuum, bene et 
io pace, libcre ct qurete, prjcilictam tenam." — Rijjoilot, Monnaics inconnucs des 
£v4(juc& dcs Innoccns, etc., 8vo., Paris, 11*37. 

204 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

therefore if follus is to be taken as fignifying " a fool," it only means 
that Picol was to perform that charafter on one occafion in the courfe 
of the year. In this cafe, he may have been fome fool whom king 
John had taken into his fpecial favour ; but it certainly is no proof that 
the praftice of keeping court fools then exifted. It is not improbable 
that this pra6lice was firft introduced in Germany, for Flogel fpeaks, 
though rather doubtfully, of one who was kept at the court of the 
emperor Rudolph I. (of Haplburg), whofe reign lafted from 1273 to 1292. 
It is more certain, however, that the kings of France poffefTed court fools 
before the middle of the fourteenth century, and from this time anecdotes 
relating to them begin to be common. One of the earliefl and moft 
curious of thefe anecdotes, if it be true, relates to the celebrated viftory of 
Sluys gained over the French fleet by our king Edward III. in the year 
1340. It is faid that no one dared to announce this difafter to the French 
king, Philippe VI., until a court fool undertook the tafk. Entering the 
king's chamber, he continued muttering to himfelf, but loud enough to 
be heard, " Thofe cowardly Englilli! the chicken-hearted Britons I" 
"How lb, coufin?" the king inquired. "Why," replied the fool, 
" becaufe they have not courage enough to jump into the fea, like your 
French foldiers, who went over headlong from their lliips, leaving thofe 
to the enemy who Ihowed no inclination to follow them." Philippe thus 
became aware of the full extent of his calamity. The inftitution of the 
court fool was carried to its greateft degree of perfeftion during the 
fifteenth century 5 it only expired in the age of Louis XIV. 

It was apparently with the court fool that the coftume was introduced 
which has ever fince been confidered as the charaderiftic mark of folly. 
Some parts of this coflume, at leaft, appear to have been borrowed from 
an earlier date. The gelotopoei of the Greeks, and the mimi and moriones 
of the Romans, fhaved their heads ; but the court fools perhaps adopted 
il*i.'.i> falhion as a fatire upon the clergy and monks. Some writers pro- 
felled to doubt whether the fools borrowed from the monks, or the monks 
from the fools 5 and Cornelius Agrippa, in his treatife on the Vanity of 
Sciences, remarks that the monks had their heads " all fhaven like 
fools" {rafo toto capite ut fatui). The cowl, alfo, was perhaps adopted 

in Liitcraturc and Art. 


in derilion of the monks, but it was diftinguilhed by the addition of a 
pair of aires' ears, or by a cock's head and comb, which formed its termi- 
nation above, or by both. The court fool was alfo furnlflied with a ftatf 
or club, which became eventually his bauble. The bells were another 
neceliary article in the equipment of a court fool, perhaps alfo intended 
as a fatire on the cuftom of wearing fmall bells in the drefs, which pre- 

//o. 127. Court Fools, 

vailed largely during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, cfpecially 
among people who were fond of childifli ollcntation. I'he fool wore alfo 
a pariy-coloured, or mtjtley, garment, probably with the llune aim — that 
tif fatirifuig one of the ridiculcjus faHiions of the fourteenth century. 

it is in ihc Hfieenth century that we firft meet with the fool in full 

2o6 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

coftume in the illuminations or manufcripts, and towards the end of the 
century this coflume appears continually in engravings. It is alfo met 
with at this time among the fculptures of buildings and the carvings of 
wood-work. The two very interefling examples given in our cut No. 127 
are taken from carvings of the fifteenth century, in the church of 
St. Levan, in Cornwall, near the Land's End. They reprefent the court 
fool in two varieties of coftume ; in the firft, the fool's cowl, or cap, ends 
in the cock's head j in the other, it is fitted with aflTes' ears. There are 
variations alio in other parts of the drefs ; for the fecond only has bells 
to his ileeves. and the firft carries a Angularly formed ftatf, which may 

No. 1 28. A Fool and a Grimace-maker. 

perhaps be intended for a ftrap or belt, with a buckle at the end 5 while 
the other has a ladle in his hand. As one pofleflfes a beard, and prefenis 
marks of age in his countenance, while the other is beardlefs and youthful, 
we may confider the pair as an old fool and a young fool. 

The Cornifti churches are rather celebrated for their early carved 
wood-work, chiefly of the fifteenth century, of which two examples are 
given in our cut. No. 128, taken from bench pannels in the church 
of St. Mullion, on the Cornilh coaft, a little to the north of the 

in Literature and Art. 207 

Lizard Point. The tirll has bells hanging to the fleeves, and is no doubt 
intended to reprel'ent folly in fome form j the other appears to be intended 
tor the head of a woman makino: crrimaces.* 

The fool had long been a charader among the people before he became 
a court tool, for Folly — or, as Ihe was then called, " Mother Folly " — was 
one of the favourite objefts of popular worlhip in the middle ages, and, 
where that worlhip fprang up fpontaneoufly among the people, it grew with 
more energy, and prefented more hearty joyoufnefs and bolder fatire than 
under the patronage of the great. Our forefathers in thofe times were 
accui'tomed to form themfelves into alfociations or focieties of a mirthful 
character, parodies of thofe of a more ferious defcription, efpecially eccle- 
liallical, and eleded as their officers mock popes, cardinals, archbilliops and 
bifhops, kings, &c. They held periodical feftivals, riotous and licentious 
carnivals, which were admitted into the churches, and even taken under 
the efpecial patronage of the clergy, under fuch titles as " the feali of 
fools," " the feall of the afs," " the feaft of the innocents," and the like. 
There was hardly a Continental town of any account which had not its 
 company of fools," with its mock ordinances and mock ceremonies. In 
our own iiland we had our abbots of mifrule and of unreafon. At tluir 
public feftivals fatirical fongs were fung and fatirical malks and dreffes 
were worn ; and in many of them, efpecially at a later date, brief fatirical 
dramas were atted. Thefe fatires alfumed much of the fun6tions of 
modern caricature j the caricature of the pidorial reprefentations, which 
were mortly permanent monuments and deftined for future generations, 
was naturally general in its charader, but in the reprefentations of which 
I am fpeaking, which were temporary, and defigned to excite the mirth 
of the moment. It became perfonal, and, often, even political, and it was 
c(in(tantly directed againft the ecclefialiical order. The fcandal of the 
lay furnifhed it with abundant materials. A fragment of one of their 

• For the drawings of these interesting carvings from the Cornish churches, I 
am indebtfd to the kindness ot Mr. J. T. Bli^lit, the autlior of an extremely 
pleasing an<l useful guide to the beauties of a well-known district of Cornwall, 
entitled " A Week at the Land's End." 

2o8 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 

fongs of an early date, fung at one of thefe "feafts " at Rouen, has been 
preferved, and contains the following lines, written in Latin and 
French : — 

De ajlno bono nojiro, 
Meiiori et Optimo, 

Dehemus faire fete. 
En revenant de Gra'vinaria, 
Vn gros chardon reperit in -via, 
H lui coupa la tete. 

F'ir monachui in menje Julio 
Egrejfus eji e monajierio, 

C'est dom de la BucaiUe ; 
EgreJJits eft fine licentia. 
Pour aller voir dona Venissia, 

Et faire la ripaille. 


For our good ajs, 

The better and the beft. 

We ought to rejoice. 
In returning from Graviniere, 
ji great thiftle he found in the ivay^ 
He cut off its head. 

ji monk in the month of July 
Went out of his monaftery. 

It is dom de la BucaiUe ; 
He tvent out -without licenje. 
To pay a •vifit to the dame de Veniffe, 

And make jo-vial cheer. 

ll appears that De la BucaiUe was the prior of the abbey of St. Taurin, 
at Rouen, and that the dame de Venifle was priorefs of St. Saviour, and 
thefe lines, no doubt, commemorate fome great fcandal of the day 
relating to the private relations between thefe two individuals. 

Thefe mock religious ceremonies are fuppofed to have been derived 
from the Roman Saturnalia^ they were evidently of great antiquity in the 
mediaeval church, and were moft prevalent in France and Italy. Under 
the name of "the feaft of the fub-deacons " they are forbidden by the 
a6ts of the council of Toledo, in 60,'^ ; at a later period, the French 
punned on the word ybw^-tZwcre^, and called them Saouls-diacres (Drunken 
Deacons), words which had nearly the fame found. The " feali of the 

in Liter at tire ajid Art. 209 

afs " is faid to be traced back in France as far as the ninth century. It 
was celebrated in nioft of the great towns in that countrj', fuch as Rouen, 
Sens, Douai, &c., and the fervice for the occalion is adtually preferved in 
fome of the old church books. From this it appears that the afs was led 
in proceffion to a place in the middle of the church, which had been 
decked out to receive it, and that the proceflion was led by two clerks, 
who fung a Latin fong in praife of tlie animal. This fong commences 
by telling us how " the afs came from the eaft, handfome and very ftrong, 
and molt fit for carrying burthens": — 

Orierttis partihui 
j4d-venta'vit ajinus. 
Pule her et fortijJimuSf 
Sarcinis aptijfimus. 

The refrain or burthen of the fong is in French, and exhorts the animal to 
join in the uproar — "Eh ! sir afs, chant now, fair mouth, bray, you fhall 
have hay enough, and oats in abundance :" — 

Hm^Jire afnes, car chant (ts. 
Belle bouche, rechignez, 
Voui aurez dufoin aJfeZy 
Et de ravoine a plantez. 

In this tone the chant continues through nine fimilar ftanzas, defcribing 
the mode of life and food of the afs. When the proceflion reached the 
altar, the prieft began a fervice in profe. Beleth, one of the celebrated 
dodors of the univerfity of Paris, who flouriflied in 1182, fpeaks of the 
" feaft of fools " as in exiftence in his time 3 and the afts of the council 
of Paris, held in 12 12, forbid the prefence of archbifliops and bilhops, 
and more efpecially of monks and nuns, at the feafts of fools, "in which 
a flaff was carried."* We know the proceedings of this latter feflival 
rather minutely from the accounts given in the ecclefiaflical ccnfures. 

* "A fc»ti» follorum ubi bacillus accipituromnino abstincatur Iiicm fortius 

monachi^ ct monialibu<i prohibcmus." 


2IO Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

It was in the cathedral churches that they elefted the archbifliop or bifhop 
of fools, whofe eleftion was confirmed, and he was confecrated, with a 
multitude of buffooneries. He then entered upon his pontifical duties 
wearing the mitre and carrying the crofier before the people, on whom 
he befl:ow3d his folemn benediftion. In the exempt churches, or thofe 
which depended immediately upon the Holy See, they ele6ted a pope ol 
fools {unum papam fatuorum), who wore fimilarly the enfigns of the 
jpapacy. Thefe dignitaries were affilled by an equally burlefque and 
licentious clergy, who uttered and performed a mixture of follies and im- 
pieties during the church fervice of the day, which they attended in 
difguifes and mafquerade dreffes. Some wore malks, or had their faces 
painted, and others were dreffed in women's clothing, or in ridiculous 
coftumes. On entering the choir, they danced and fang licentious fongs. 
The deacons and fub-deacons ate black puddings and faufages on the altar 
while the prieft was celebrating; others played at cards or dice under his 
eyes ; and others threw bits of old leather into the cenfer in order to 
raife a difagreeable fraell. After the mafs was ended, the people broke 
out into all forts of riotous behaviour in the church, leaping, dancing, and 
exhibiting themfelves in indecent poflures, and fome went as far as to 
ftrip themfelves naked, and in this condition they were drawn through 
the flreets with tubs full of ordure and filth, which they threw about ai 
the mob. Every now and then they halted, when they exhibited 
immodefl: poftures and a6tions, accompanied with fongs and fpeeches of 
the fame charadter. Many of the laity took part in the proceflion, dreffed 
as monks and nuns. Thefe diforders feem to have been carried to their 
greateft degree of extravagance during the fourteenth and fifteenth 

* On the subject of all these burlesques and popular feasts and ceremonies, the 
reader may consult Flogel's " Geschichte des Grotesk-Komischen," of which a new 
and enlarcred edition has recently been given by Dr. Friedrich W. Ebeling, 8vo., 
Leipzicr, i86z. Much interesting information on the subject was collected by Du 
Tilliot, in his " Memoires pour servir a I'Histoire de la Fete des Fous," 8vo., 
Lausanne, 1751. See also Rigoliot, in the work quoted above, and a popular article 
on the same subject will be found in my " Archaeological Album." 

i?7 Literature and Art. 


Towards the fifteenth century, lay focieties, having apparently no 
conneftion with the clergy or the church, but of juft the fame burlefque 
character, arofe in France. One of the earliert of thefe was formed by 
the clerks of the Bazoche, or lawyers' clerks of the Palais de Juflice in 
Paris, whofe prefident was a fort of king of mifrule. The other 
principal fociety of this kind in Paris took the rather mirthful name of 
Enfans fans Souci (Carelels Boys) ; it confided of young men of 
education, who gave to their prefident or chieftain the title of Prince 
des Sots (the Prince of Fools). Both thefe focieties compofed and 
performed farces, and other fmall dramatic pieces. Thefe farces were 
fatires on contemporary fociety, and appear to have been often very 

Almoft the only monuments of the older of thefe focieties confift of 
coins, or tokens, flruck in lead, and fometimes commemorating the names 
of their mock dignitaries. A confiderable number of thefe have been 
found in France, and an account of them, with engravings, was publiflied 
by Dr. Rigollot fome years ago.* Our cut No. 129 will ferve as an 

. 129. M(^ney of the Archhijhof of the Innocents. 

example. It reprefents a leaden token of the Archbifliop of the 
Innocents of the parifh of St. Firmin, at Amiens, and is curious as bearing 
a date. On one fide the archbilhop of the Innocents is reprefented in 
the a6t of giving his blefling to his flock, furrounded by the infcription, 
MONETA- ARCHiEpi • 8CTI • FiHMiNi. On the Other fide we have the 


Monnaifn intonnucs des EvAques des Innocens, des Fous," Sec, Paris, 


Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

name of the individual who that year held the office of archbifhop, 
NicoLAVS • GAVDRAM * ARCHiEPVs ' 1520, furrounding a group confiding 
of two men, one of whom is drefled as a fool, holding between them a 
bird, which has fomewhat the appearance of a magpie. Our cut 
No. 130 is ftill more curious 5 it is a token of \h& pope of fools. On one 

'No. 130. Money of the Pope of Fools. 

fide appears the pope with his tiara and double crofs, and a fool in full 
coftume, who approaches his bauble to the pontifical crofs. It is certainly 
a bitter caricature on the papacy, whether that were the intention or not. 
Two perfons behind, drefled apparently in fcholaftic coftume, feem 
to be merely fpeftators. The infcription is, moneta • nova ' adriani • 
STVLTORV [m] • PAPE (the laft E being in the field of the piece), "new money 
of Adrian, the pope of fools." The infcription on the other fide of the 
token is one frequently repeated on thefe leaden medals, stvltorv [m] • 
iNFiNiTVS • EST ' NVMERVS, " the number of fools is infinite." In the 
field we fee Mother Folly holding up her bauble, and before her a 
grotefque figure in a cardinal's hat, apparently kneeling to her. It is 
rather furprifing that we find fo few allufions to thefe burlefque focieties 
in the various clafles of piftorial records from which the fubjeft of thefe 
chapters has been illuftrated 3 but we have evidence that they were not 
altogether overlooked. Until the latter end of the laft century, the 
mifereres of the church of St. Spire, at Corbeil, near Paris, were 
remarkable for the Angular carvings with which they were decorated, and 
which have fince been deftroyed, but ^o** «inAtt» , .hey were engraved bj 

m Literature and Art. 


Millin. One of them, copied in our cut No. 131, evidently reprelents 
the bilhop of fools conferring his bleliing ; the fool's bauble occupies the 
place of the paftoral ftaft". 

No. 131. The Bipop of Fools. 

214 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 






"praise OF FOLLY." 

THERE is ftill one cycle of fatire which almoft belongs to the middle 
ages, though it only became developed at their clofe, and became 
moil popular after they were paft. There exifted, at leaft as early as the 
beginning of the thirteenth century, a legendary ftory of an interview 
between three living and three dead men, which is ufually told in French 
verfe, and appears under the title of "Des trois vifs et des trois morts." 
According to fome verfions of the legend, it was St. Macarius, the 
Egyptian reclufe, who thus introduced the living to the dead. 'The 
verfes are fometimes accompanied with figures, and thefe have been 
found both fculptured and painted on ecclefiaftical buildings. At a later 
period, apparently early in the fifteenth century, fome one extended this 
idea to all ranks of fociety, and pidlured a Ikeleton, the emblem of death, 
or even more than one, in communication with an individual of each 
clafsj and this extended fcene, from the manner of the grouping — in 
which the dead appeared to be wildly dancing off with the living-— 
became known as the "Dance of Death." As the earlier legend of the 
three dead and the three living was, however, llill often introduced 
at the begmning of it, the whole group was moft generally known — 
efpecially during the fifteenth century — as the " Danfe Macabre," or 

I?i Literature and Art. z 1 5 

Dance of Macabre, this name being confidered as a mcro corriii)ticn of 

Macarius. The temper of the age — in which death in every form was 

conltantly before the eyes of all, and in which people fought to regard 

life as a mere tranfitory moment of enjoyment — gave to this grim idea of 

the fellowlliip of death and life great popularity, and it was not only 

painted on the walls of churches, but it was fufpended in tapellry around 

j)eople's chambers. Sometimes they even attempted to reprefent it in 

mafquerade, and we are told that in the month of Odober, 1424, the 

" Danfe Macabre " was publicly danced by living people in the cemetery 

of the Innocents, in Paris — a fit place for fo lugubrious a performance — 

in the prefence of the Duke of Bedford and the Duke of Burgundy, who 

came to Paris after the battle of Verneuil. During the reft of the century 

we find not unfrequently allufions to the "Danfe Macabre." The 

Englilh poet Lydgate wrote a feries of ftanzas to accompany the figures, 

and it was the fubjed of fome of the earlieft engravings on wood. In 

the pofture and accompaniments of the figures reprefenting the different 

dalles of fociety, and in the greater or lefs reludance with which the 

living accept their not very attradive partners, fatire is ufually implied, 

and it is in fome cafes accompanied with drollery. The figure reprefent 

ing death has almoft always a grimly mirthful countenance, and appears 

to be dancing with good will. The moft remarkable early reprefentation 

of the " Danfe Macabre " now preferved, is that painted on the wall of 

the church of La Chaife Dieu, in Auvergne, a beautiful fac-fimile of 

which was publilhed a few years ago by the well-known antiquary 

M. Jubinal. This remarkable pitfure begins with the figures of Adam 

and Eve, who are introducing death into the world in the form of a 

ferpent with a death's head. The dance is opened by an ecclefiaftic 

preaching from a pulpit, towards whom death is leading firft in the dance 

the pope, for each individual takes his precedence ftri6tly according to his 

clafs — alternately an ecclefiaftic and a layman. Thus next after the pope 

comes the emperor, and the cardinal is followed by \hc king. I'he 

baron is followed by the biftio]), and liu- i^rini partner of tiu- latter appears 

10 pay more attention to the layman than to his own prieft, fo that two 

dead men appear to have the former in charge. The group thus repre- 

2i6 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

— —  -  - 

fented by the nobleman and the two deaths, is copied in our cut No. 132, 
and will ferve as an example of the ftyle and grouping of this remarkable 
painting. After a few other figures, perhaps lefs Ilriking, we come to 
the merchant, who receives the advances of his partner with a thoughtful 
air; while immediately after him another death is trying to make him- 
felf more acceptable to the balhful nun by throwing a cloak over his 
nakednefs. In another place two deaths armed with bows and arrows are 

^0. 132. The Knight in the Dance of Death. 

fcattering their {hafts rather dangeroufly. Soon follow fome of the more 
gay and youthful members of fociety. Our cut No. 133 reprefents the 
mufician, who appears alfo to attraft the attentions of two of the perfe- 
cutors. In his difmay he is treading under foot his own viol. The 
dance clofes with the lower orders of fociety, and is concluded by a group 
which is not fo eafily underftood. Before the end of the fifteenth' century, 
there had appeared in Paris feveral editions of a feries of bold engravings 

in Literature and Art. 


on wood, in a Ihiall felio lize, reprefenting the fame dance, though fome- 
what dirierenlly treated. France, indeed, appears to have been the 
native country of the " Danfe Macabre." But in the century following 
the beautiful fet of drawings by the great artiftHans Holbein, firll publilheU 
at Lyons in 1538, gave to the Dance of Death a ftill greater and wider 

No. 133. Tht Muficlan in Death' i Hands. 

celebrity. From this time the fubjeds of this dance were commonly 
introduced in initial letters, and in the engraved borders of pages, 
efpecially in books of a religious chara6ter. 

Death may truly be laid to have Ihared with Folly that melancholy 
period — the fifteenth century. As fociety then prefented itklt to the 
eye, people might eafily fuppofe that the world was running niad, and 
l<jlly, in one Ihape or other, fe«-mcd to be the principle which ruled molt 
men's actions. The jocular focieties, defcribed in my lall chapter, w iru h 
multiplied in France during the fifteenth century, initiated a lint ot 
muck worlliip of Folly. That fort of inauguration of death which was 

2 1 8 Hijiory of' Caricature and Grotefque 

performed in the "Danfe Macabre," was of French growth, but the 
grand crufade againfl: folly appears to have originated in Germany. 
Sebaftian Brandt was a native of Strafburg, born in 1458. He iludied 
in that city and in Bale, became a celebrated profeffor in both thofe 
places, and died at the former in 1520. The " Ship of Fools," which has 
immortalifed the name of Sebaftian Brandt, is believed to have been firft 
publithed in the year J 494. The original German text went through 
numerous editions within a few years 3 a Latin tranflation was equally 
popular, and it was afterwards edited and enlarged by Jodocus Badius 
Afcenfius. A French text was no lefs fuccefsful j an Engliih tranflation 
was printed by Richard Pynfon in ijOp ; a Dutch verfion appeared in 
1519. During the fixteenth century, Brandt's "Ship of Fools " was the 
moft popular of books. It conlifts of a feries of bold woodcuts, which 
form its chara6teriftic feature, and of metrical explanations, written by 
Brandt, and annexed to each cut. Taking his text from the words of the 
preacher, " Stultorum numerus eft infinitus," Brandt expofes to the eye, in 
all its fliades and forms, the folly of his contemporaries, and bares to view 
its roots and caufes. The cuts are efpecially interefting as ftriking pi6tures 
of contemporary manners. The " Ship of Fools " is the great fliip of the 
world, into which the various defcriptions of fatuity are pouring from all 
quarters in boat-loads. The firft folly is that of men who collefted great 
quantities of books, not for their utility, but for their rarity, or beauty of 
executii n, or rich bindings, fo that we fee that bibliomania had already taken 
its place among human vanities. The fecond clafs of fools were interefted 
and partial judges, who fold juftice for money, and are reprefented under 
the emblem of two fools throwing a boar into a caldron, according to the 
old Latin proverb, Agere aprum in lebetem. Then come the various follies 
ol mifers, fops, dotards, men who are fooliflily indulgent to their children, 
mifchief-makers, and defpifers of good advice; of nobles and men in 
power ; of the profane and the improvident ; of foolilh lovers ; of 
extravagant eaters and drinkers, &c., &c. Foolifli talking, hypocrify, 
frivolous purfuits, ecclefiaftical corruptions, impudicity, and a great 
number of other vices as well as follies, are duly palfed in review, and are 
reprefented in various forms of fatirical caricature, and fomeiimes in 

//; Literature and Art. 

2 I 9 

limpler unadonied piaures. Thus the foolilh valuers of things are repre- 
lented by a fool holding a balance, one Icale of which contains the fun, 
moon, and liars, to reprefent heaven and heavenly things, and the other a 
caftle and fields, to reprefent earthly things, the latter fcale overucighing 
the other ; and the procraftinator is pidured by another fool, with a parrot 
perched on his head, and a magpie on each hand, all repeating eras, eras, 
eras (to-raorrow). Our cut No. 134 reprefents a group of difturbers of 

No. 1 34. Dijiurbers of Church Ser-vice 

church fervice. It was a common pra6tice in former days to take to 
church hawks (which were conftantly carried about as the outward eiifign 
of the gentleman) and dogs. The fool has here thrown back his fool's-cap 
to exhibit more fully the fafhionable " gent " of the day ; he carries his 
hawk on his hand, and wears not only a fafliionable pair of flioe«, but very 
falhifjnable clogs alfo. Thefe gentlemen d la mode, titrgcntts genere et 
nulaidus alt'n, we are told, were the perfons who difturbcd the church 

•220 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

fervice by the creaking of their flioes and clogs, the noife made by their 
birds, the barking and quarrelhng of their dogs, by their own whifperings, 
and efpecially with immodeft women, whom they met in church as in a 
convenient place of aflignation. All thefe forms of the oftence are 
expreffed in the pidture. Our fecond example cut No. 135, which forms 

Mendicants on their Travels, 

the fifty-ninth title or fubjed in the " Ship of Fools," reprefents a party 
of the beggars with which, either lay or ecclefiaftical, the country was 
then overrun. In the explanation, thefe wicked beggars are defcribed as 
indulging in idlenefs, in eating, drinking, rioting, and fleep, while they 
levy contributions on the charitable feelings of the honeft and induftrious, 
and, under cover of begging, commit robbery wherever they find the 
opportunity. The beggar, who appears to be only a deceptive cripple, 
leads his donkey laden with children, whom he is bringing up in the fame 
profelhon, while his wife lingers behind to indulge in her bibulous pro- 

in Literature and Art. 221 

penlities. Thele cuts will give a tolerable notion of the general charader 
of the whole, which amount in number to a hundred and twelve, and 
therefore prefent a great variety of fubjeCts relative to almoll every clals 
and profellion of life. 

We may remark, however, that after Folly had thus run through all 
the ftages of fociety, until it had reached the loweft of all, the ranks of 
mendicity, the gods themfelves became alarmed, the more fo as this great 
movement was directed efpecially againft Minerva, the goddefs of wifdom, 
and they held a conclave to provide againll it. The refult is not told, 
but the courfe of Folly goes on as vigoroufly as ever. Ignorant fools 
who fet up for phylicians, fools who cannot underftand jokes, unwife 
mathematicians, aftrologers, of the latter of which the moralifer fays, in his 
Latin verfe — 

Siqua "voki fortis pr<tnoJcere damna futura, 

Et -vitare malum, Jol tibifigna dabit. 
Sed tibi, ftiilte, tut cur non dedit ille fur oris 

Si^na ? aul,Ji dederit, cur tanta mala fubh ? 
Nondum ^rammutlcte callh primordia, et audes 

f^im carli radio JuppoJ'tdJJe tuo. 

The next cut is a very curious one, and appears to reprefent a diffeding- 
houfe of this early period. Among other chapters which afford interefting 
pictures of that lime, and indeed of all times, we may inftance thofe of 
litigious fools, who are always going to law, and who confound blind 
juftice, or rather try to unbind her eyes; of filthy-tongued fools, who 
glorify the race of fwine ; of ignorant fcholars ; of gamblers ; of bad and 
thievilh cooks ; of low men who feek to be high, and of high who are 
defpifers of poverty ; of men who forget that they will die ; of irreligious 
men and blafphemers; of the ridiculous indulgence of parents to children, 
and the ungrateful return which was made to them foi it ; and of women's 
pride. Another title defcribes the ruin of Chriftianity : the pope, 
emiKTor, king, cardinals, &:c., are receiving willingly from a fuppliant fool 
the cap of Folly, while two other fools are looking derifively upon iIiliu 
from an adj</ining wall. It need hardly be faid that this was piibliflicd 
CD the eve of the Reformation. 

In the niidft of the popularity which greeted the appearance of the 

22 2 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grofefque 

work of Sebaftian Brandt, it attrafted the fpecial attention of a celebrated 
preacher of the time named Johann Geiler. Geiler was born at SchafF- 
haufen, in Switzerland, in 1445, but having loft his father when only 
three years of age, he was educated by his grandfather, who lived at 
Keyferlberg, in Alface, and hence he was commonly called Geiler of 
Keyferfberg. He ftudied in Freiburg and Bale, obtained a great repu- 
tation for learning, was efteemed a profound theologian, and was finally 
fettled in Strafburg, where he continued to Ihine as a preacher until his 
death in 15 10. He was a bold man, too, in the caufe of truth, and de- 
claimed with earneft zeal againft the corruptions of the church, and efpe- 
cially againft the monkifh orders, for he compared the black monks to the 
devil, the white monks to his dam, and the others he faid were their 
chickens. On another occafion he faid that the qualities of a good monk 
were an almighty belly, an afs's back, and a raven's mouth. He told his 
congregation from the pulpit that a great reformation was at hand, that 
he did not expe£t to live to fee it himfelf, but that many of thofe who 
heard him would live to fee it. As may be fuppofed, the monks hated 
him, and fpoke of him with contempt. They faid, that in his fermons he 
took his texts, not from the Scriptures, but from the " Ship of Fools " of 
Sebaftian Brandt; and, in fa6t, during the year 1498, Geiler preached at 
Strafburg a feries of fermons on the follies of his time, which were 
evidently founded upon Brandt's book, for the various follies were taken 
in the fame order. They were originally compiled in German, but one 
of Geiler's fcholars, Jacob Other, tranflated them into Latin, and 
publifhed them, in 1501, under the title of " Navicula five Speculum 
Fatuorum praeftantiffimi facrarum literarum dottoris Johannis Geiler." 
Within a few years this work went through feveral editions both in Latin 
and in German, fome of them illuftrated by woodcuts. The fiyle of 
preaching is quaint and curious, full of fatirical wit, which is often coarle, 
according to the manner of the time, fometimes very indelicate. Each 
fermon is headed by the motto, " Stultorum infinitus eft numerus." 
Geiler takes for his theme in each fermon one of the titles of Brandt's 
" Ship of Fools," and he feparates them into fubdivifions, or branches, 
which he calls the bells {nolas) from the fool's-cap. 


i?i Literature m:d Art. 223 

The other Ibholar who did raoft to Ipread the knowledge of Brandt's 
work, was Jodocus Badius, v ho allumed the additional name of Afcenfius 
becaufe he was born at Alfen, near Brullels, in 1462. He was a very dillin- 
guilhed fcholar, but is beft known for having eftablillied a celebrated 
printing eftablilhment in Paris, where he died in 1535. I have already 
ftated that Badius edited the Latin tranflation of the " Ship of Fools" of 
Sebaftian Brandt, with additional explanations of his own, but he was one 
of the tirll of Brandt's imitators. He leems to have thought that Brandt's 
book was not complete — that the weaker fex had not received its fair Ihare 
of importance j and apparently in 1498, while Geiler was turning the 
" Stultifera Navis " into fermons, Badius compiled a fort of fupplement to 
it {aAditamentum) , to which he gave the title of" Stultiferae naviculae, feu 
Scaphae, Fatuarum Mulierum," the Boats of Foolifh Women. As far as 
can be traced, the firft edition appears to have been printed in 1502. The 
lirrt cut reprefents the Ihip carrying Eve alone of the female race, whofe 
fully involved the whole world. The book is divided into five chapters, 
according to the number of the five fenfes, each fenfe reprefented by a 
boat carrying its particular clals of foolilh women to the great Ihip of 
foolifh women, which lies oft' at anchor. The text confifls of a diirertatioii 
on the ufe and abufe of the particular fenfe which forms the fubllance of 
the chapter, and it ends with Latin verfes, which are given as the boat- 
man's ccLufma, or boat fong. The firft of thefe boats is {he fcapha Jtult<e 
vijinnis ad Jiultiferam navem pervcniens — the boat of foolilh feeing proceed- 
ing to the Ihip of fools. A party of gay ladies are taking polfL-lIion of the 
boat, carrying with them their combs, looking-glafles, and all other 
implements neceflary for making them fair to be looked upon. The 
fccond boat is the fcapha auditionis fatuoe, the boat of foolilh hearing, in 
which the ladies are playing upon mufical inftruments. The third is the 
ftiapha oljaciionis Jiulloe, the boat of foolifli fmell, and the pidorial illuftra- 
tion to it is partly copied in our cut No. 136. In the original fome of the 
ladies are gathering fweet-fmelling flowers before they enter the boat, 
while on board a pedlar is vending his perfume. Oiw folic Jem me, with 
her/ool's cap on her head, is buying a pomander, or, as we lliould perhaps 
now fay, a fcetit-ball, from the itinerant dealer. Figures of pomanders 

2 24 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

are extremely rare, and this is an interefting example; in faft, it is only 
recently that our Shakfpearian critics really underftood the meaning of the 
word. A pomander was a fmall globular velTel, perforated with holes, 
and filled with llrong perfumes, as it is reprefented in our woodcut. The 

No. 136. The Boat of Pleajant Odours. 

fourth of thefe boats is that of foolifli tafting, fcaplia guJJationis fatuce, 
and the ladies have their well-furnifhed table on board the boat, and are 
largely indulging in eating and drinking. In the laft of thefe boats, the 
fcapha contaBionis fatucs, or boat of foolifh feeling, the women have men on 
board, and are proceeding to great liberties with them ; one of the gentle 
damfels, too, is picking the pocket of her male companion in a very 
unlady-like manner. 

Two ideas combined in this peculiar field of fatiric literature, that of 
the Ihip and that of the fools, now became popular, and gave rife to a hofl: 
of imitators. There appeared fhips of health, fhips of penitence, ihips of 
all forts of things, on the one hand 3 and on the other, folly was a favourite 
theme of fatire from many quarters. One of the moft remarkable of the 
perfonages involved in this latter warfare, was the great fcholar Defiderius 
Erafmus, of Rotterdam, who was born in that city in 1467, Like moft 
of thefe fatirifts, Erafmus was ftrongly imbued with the fpirit of the 

in Literature and Art. 225 

Reformation, and he was the acquaintance and friend of thofe to whom 
the Reformation owed a great part of its fuccefs. In 1497, when the 
" Ship of FooLs" of SebalVian Brandt was in the firll full liulh of its 
popularity, Erafmus came to England, and was fo well received, that 
from that time forward his literary life feemed more identified with our 
illand than with any other country. His name is ftill a fort of houfehold 
word in our univerfilies, efpecially in that of Cambridge. He made here 
the friendly acquaintance of the great Sir Thomas More, himfelf a lover 
of mirth, and one of thofe whofe names are celebrated for having kept a 
court fool. In the earlier years of the fixteenth century, Erafmus vilited 
Italy, and palfed two or three years there. He returned thence to Eng- 
land, as appears, early in the year 1508. It is not eafy to decide whether 
his experience of fociety in Italy had convinced him more than ever 
that folly was the prefiding genius of mankind, or what other feeling 
influenced him, but one of the firfl refults of his voyage was the Mw/amt; 
'Eynro/^tov {MoricE Encomium), or " Praife of Folly," Erafmus dedicated 
this little jocular treatife to Sir Thomas More as a fort of pun upon his 
name, although he protelb that there was a great contraft between the 
two chara6ters. Erafmus takes much the fame view of folly as Brandt, 
Geiler, Badias, and the others, and under this name he writes a bold 
fatire on the whole frame of contemporary fociety. The I'atire is placed 
in the mouth of Folly herfelf (the Mere Folie of the jocular clubs), who 
delivers from her pulpit a declamation in which fhe fets forth her qualities 
and praifes. She boafts of the greatnefs of her origin, claims as her 
kindred the fophifts, rhetoricians, and many of the pretentious fcholars 
and wife men, and defcribes her birth and education. She claims divine 
affinity, and boafls of her influence ovei the world, cind of the beneficent 
manner in which it was exercifed. All the world, fhe pretends, was 
ruled under her auf'pices, and it was only in her prefence that mankind 
was really happy. Hence the happieft ages of man are infancy, before 
wifdom has come to interfere, and old age, when it has paffed away. 
Therefore, flje fays, if men would remain faithful to her, ami avoid 
wifdom altogether, they would pafs a life of perpetual youth, in this 
long difcourl'c of the influence of folly, written by a man of tlie known 


226 Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefque 

fentiments of Erafmus, it would be ftrange if the Roraifli church, with 
its monks and ignorant priefthood, its faints, and relics, and miracles, did 
not find a place. Erafmus intimates that the fuperftitious follies had 
become permanent, becaufe they were profitable. There are fom.e, he 
tells us, who cherilbed the foolifh yet pleafant perfuafion, that if they 
fixed their eyes devoutly on a figure of St. Chrittopher, carved in wood 

No. 137. Super flition. 

or painted on the wall, they would be fafe from death on that day 5 with 
many other examples of equal credulity. Then there are your pardons, 
your meafures of purgatory, which may be bought off at fo much the 
hour, or the day, or the month, and a multitude of other abfurdities. 
Ecclefiaftics, fcholars, mathematicians, philofophers, all come in for their 
fhare of the refined fatire of this book, which, like the " Ship of Fools," 
has gone through innumerable editions, and has been tranflated into 
many languages. 

In an early French tranflation, the text of this work of Erafmus is 
embellifhed with fome of the woodcuts belonging to Brandt's " Ship of 

in Literature and Art. 


Fools," which, it need hardly be remarked, are altogether inappropriate, 
but the " Prail'e of Folly " was detVined to receive illuftrations from a more 
dillinguillied pencil. A copy of the book came into the hands of Hans 
Holbein — it may poflibly have been prefented to him by the author — 
and Holbein took fo much intereft in it, that he amufed himfelf with 
drawing illuftrative Iketches with a pen in the margins. This book after- 
wards palVed into the library of the Univerfity of Biile, where it was found 
in the latter part of the feventeenth century, and thefe drawings have 
fince been engraved and added to moft of the fubfequent editions. Many 
of thefe Iketches are very llight, and fome have not a very clofe con- 
nexion with the text of Erafmus, but they are all chara6leriftic, and fhow 
the fpirit — the fpirit of the age — in which Holbein read his author. 
I give two examples of them, taken almofi: haphazard, for it would 
require a longer analyfis of the book than can be given here to make 
many of them underftood. The firll oi thefe, our cut No. 137, reprefents 
the foolilli warrior, who has a fword long enough to trull to it for defence. 

A'o. 138. Preacher Folly ending her Sermon. 

bowing with trembling fuperftition before a painting of St. Chritlopher 
croliing the water with the infant Chrift on his Ihoulder, as a more cer- 
tain fecuri.y fur his fafety during that day. The other, our cut No. 138, 
reprefents the preacher. Lady Polly, dtfcending from her pulpit, after Ihe 
bus concluded her ferniun. 

228 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 





1"^HE people in the middle ages, as well as its fuperiors, had its comic 
- literature and legend. Legend was the literature efpecially of the 
pealant, and in it the fpirit of burleique and fatire manifelted itfelf in 
inany ways. Simplicity, combined with vulgar cunning, and the 
circumftances arifing out of the exercife of thefe qualities, prelented the 
greateft ftimulants to popular mirth. They produced their popular 
heroes, who, at tirll, were much more than half legendary, fuch as the 
familiar fpirit, Robin Goodfellow, whofe pranks were a fource of con- 
tinual amufement rather than of terror to the fimple minds which 
lillened to thofe who told them. Thefe ftories excited with ftill greater 
intereft as their fpiritual heroes became incarnate, and the auditors were 
perfuaded that the perpetrators of fo many artful ads of cunning and of 
fo many mifchievous pra£iical jokes, were but ordinary men like them- 
felves. It was but a (ign or fymbol of the change from the mythic age 
to that of pradical life. One of the earliefl of thefe flories of mythic 
comedy transformed into, or at leaft prefented under the guile of, 
humanity, is that of Brother Rulh. Although the earliell verfion of this 
llory with which we are acquainted dates only from the beginning of the 
lixteenth century,* there is no reafon for doubt that the (lory itfelf was 
in exiftence at a much more remote period. 

* This earliest known version is in German verse, and was printed in 151 5. 
An English version, in prose, was printed in 1620, and is reprinted in Thoms's 
'*' Collection of Early Prose Romances." 

i?7 Literature and Art. 229 

Rulh was, in truth, a fpirit of darknefs, whole million it was to 
wander on the eartli tempting and impeUing people to do evil. Perceiv- 
ing that the internal condition of a certain abbey was well fuited to his 
purpofe, he prefented himfelf at its gates in the difguife of a youth wlu) 
wanted employment, and was received as an alliltant in the kitchen, but 
he pleafed the monks bell by the Ikill with which he furnillied them all 
with fair companions. At length he quarrelled with the cook, and threw 
him into the boiling caldron, and the monks, alVuming that his death 
was accidental, appointed Rulh to be cook in his place. After a fervice 
ot i^x^w years in the kitchen — which appears to have been conlidered a 
fair apprenticelliip for the new honour which was to be conferred upon him 
— the abbot and convent rewarded him by making him a monk. He now 
followed ftill more earneftly his defign for the ruin of his brethren, both 
foul and body, and began by raifing a quarrel about a woman, which led, 
through his contrivance, to a fight, in which the monks all fuffered grievous 
bodily injuries, and in which Brother Rulh was efpecially adive. He 
went on in this way until at lall his true charadter was accidentally 
difcovered. A neighbouring farmer, overtaken by night, took Ihelter in 
a hollow tree. It happened to be the night appointed by Lucifer to 
meet his agents on earth, and hear from them the report of their feveral 
proceedings, and he had fele6ted this very oak as the place of rendezvous. 
I'here Brother Rulh appeared, and the farmer, in his hiding-place, heard 
his confellion from his own lips, and told it to the abbot, who, being as 
it would appear a magician, conjured him into the form of a horfe, and 
banilhcd him. Rulh hurried away to England, where he laid afide his 
equine form, and entered the body of the king's daughter, who fulKred 
great torments from his poUeflion. At length lonie of the great dottors 
from Paris came and obliged the fpirit to confefs that nobody but the 
abb(jt of the dillant monaftery had any power over him. The abbot 
can)e, called him out of the maiden, and conjured him more forcibly 
than ever into the form of a horfe. 

Such is, in mere outline, the ftory of Brother Rulh, whicli was 
gradually enlarged by the addition of new inciilents. But the people 
wanted a hero who prefented more of the charadter of reality, who, in 

230 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 

fa6l, might be recognifed as one of themfelves ; and fuch heroes appear 
to have exifted at all times. They ufually reprefented a clafs in fociety, 
and efpecially that clafs which confifted of idle fharpers, who lived by 
their wits, and which was more numerous and more familiarly known in 
the middle ages than at the prefent day. Folly and cunning combined 
prefented a never-failing fubjed of mirth. This clafs of adventurers firft 
came into print in Germany, and it is there that we find its firft popular 
hero, to whom they gave the name of Eulenfpiegel, which means literally 
"the owl's mirror," and has been fince ufed in German in the fenfe of a 
merry fool. Tyll Eulenfpiegel, and his ftory, are fuppofed to have be- 
longed to the fourteenth century, though we firft know them in the printed 
book of the commencement of the fixteenth, which is believed to have 
come from the pen of the well-known popular writer, Thomas Murner, 
of whom I fhall have to fpeak more at length in another chapter. The 
popularity of this work was very great, and it was quickly tranflated 
into French, Englilh, Latin, and almoft every other language of Weftern 
Europe. In the Englilli verfion the name alfo was tranflated, and 
appears under the form of Owleglafs, or, as it often occurs with the 
fnperfluous afpirate, Howleglafs.* According to the ftory, Tyll Eulen- 
fpiegel was the fon of a peafant, and was born at a village called Kneit- 
lingen, in the land of Brunfwick. The ftory of his birth may be given in 
the words of the early Englilh verfion, as a fpecimen of its quaint and 
antiquated language : — 

" Yn the lande of Sa<;sen, in the vyllnsfe of Ruelnigje, there dwelleth a man 
that was named Nicholas Howleojlas, that had a wife named Wypelce, that lay a 
childbed in the same wyllage, and that chylde was borne to christening; and named 
Tyell Howleglass. And than the chyld was brought into a taverne, where the 
lather was wyth his gosseppes and made good chere. Whan the mydwife had wel 

* The title of this English translation is, " Here beginneht a merye Jest of a 
man that was called Howleglas, and of many marveylous thinges and jestes that 
he dyd in his lyfe, in Eastlande, and in many other places." It was printed by 
Coplande, supposed about 1520. An edition of Eulenspiegel in English, by 
Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, has recently been published by Messrs. Triibner &c Co-, 
ot Paternoster Row. 

/;/ Literature and Art. 231 

dronke, she toke the rhilde to here it home, and in the wai was a litle bridg over a 
muddy water. And as the mydwife would have gone over the lytic brydojc, she fel 
into the mudde with the chylde, for she had a lytel dronk to much wyne, for had 
not heipe come quickly, the had both be drowned in the mudJe. And whan the 
came home with the childe, the made a kettle of warm water to be made redi, and 
therin they washed the child clcn of the mudde. And thus was Howie^las thre 
tymes in one dai cristened, once at the churche, once in the mudde, and once in the 
warm water." 

It will be feen that the Englifli tranflator was not very corrc6t in his 
geography or in his names. The child, having thus efcaped deftru(5tion, 
grew rapidly, and dilplayed an extraordinary Icwe of mirchief, with various 
other evil "propenlities, as well as a cunning beyond his age, in efcaping 
the rilks to which thefe expofed him. At a very early age, he dilplayed 
a remarkable talent for fetting the other children by the ears, and this 
was his favourite amufement during life. His mother, who was now a 
widow, contemplating the extraordinary cunning of her child, which, as 
(he thought, mull neceirarily enfure his advancement in the Morld, refolved 
that he Ihould no longer remain idle, and put him apprentice to a baker ; 
but his wicked and reftlefs difpofition defeated all the good intentions of 
his parent, and Eulenfpiegel was obliged to leave his mafter in confequence 
of his mal-pradices. One day his mother took him to a church-dedica- 
tion, and the child drank fo much at the feaft on that occafion, that he 
crept into an empty beehive and fell afleep, while his mother, thinking he 
had gone home, returned without him. In the night-time two thieves 
came into the garden to fteal the bees, and they agreed to take firft the hive 
which was heaviell. This, as may be fuppofed, proved to be the hive in 
which Eulenfpiegel was hidden, and they fixed it on a pole which they 
carried on their flioulders, one before and one behind, the hive hanging 
between them. Eulenfpiegel, awakened by the movement, foon difcovered 
the pofition in which he was placed, and hit upon a plan for efcaping. 
Gently lifting the lid of the hive, he put out his arm and plucked \\w 
hair of the man bef(jre, who turned about and accufed his companion of 
infulting him. The other alferted that he had not touched him, and the 
firft, only lialf fati^fied, continued to bear his fliare of the hurllien, but he 
bad not advanced many fteps when a ftill fluirptr pull al his hair excited 

232 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

his great anger, and from wrathful words the two thieves proceeded to 
blows. While they were tighting, Eulenfpiegel crept out of the hive and 
ran away. 

After leaving the baker, Eulenfpiegel became a wanderer in the 
world, gaining his living by his trickery and deception, and engaging 
himfelf in all Ibrts of ftrange and ludicrous adventures. He ended every- 
where by creating difcord and ftrife. He became at different times a 
blackfmith, a Ihoemaker, a tailor, a cook, a drawer of teeth, and alTumed 
a variety of other charafters, but remained in each fituation only long 
enough to make it too hot for him, and to be obliged to fecure his retreat. 
He intruded himfelf into all claifes of fociety, and invariably came to 
fimilar refults. Many of his adventures, indeed, are lb droll that we can 
eafily underftand the great popularit}' they once enjoyed. But they are 
not merely amuling — they prefent a continuous fatire upon contemporary 
focietv, upon a focial condition in which every pretender, every recklefs 
impoitor, every private plunderer or public depredator, faw the world 
expofed to him in its folly and credulity as an eafy prey. 

The middle ages poffeffed another clals of thefe popular fatirical 
hiftories, which were attached to places rather than to perfons. There were 
few countries which did not poffefs a town or a diftrift, the inhabitants of 
which were celebrated for ftupidity, or for roguery, or for fome other 
ridiculous or contemptible quality. We have leen, in a former chapter, 
the people of Norfolk enjoying this peculiarity, and, at a later period, the 
inhabitants of Pevenfey in Suffex, and more efpecially thofe of Gotham in 
Nottinghamfhire, were fimilarly diftinguifhed. The inhabitants of many 
places in Germany bore this chara6ter, but their grand reprefentatives among 
the Germans were the Schildburgers, a name which appears to belong 
entirely to the domain of fable. Schildburg, we are told, was a town 
" in Mifnopotamia, beyond Utopia, in the kingdom of Calecut." The 
Schildburgers were originally fo renowned for their wifdom, that they were 
continually invited into foreign countries to give their advice, until at 
length not a man was left at home, and their wives were obliffed to 
affume the charge of the duties of their hulbands. This became at lengfth 
fo onerous^ that the wives held a council, and refolved on defpatching a 

/;; Literature and Art. 233 

rolonin meflase m writinsr to call the men home. This had the delired 

etied; all the Schildburgers returned to their own town, and were fo 

joyfully received by their wives thar they refolved u[)c)n leaving it no 

nore. They accordingly held a council, and it was decided that, having 

experienced the great inconvenience of a reputation of wifdom, they 

would avoid it in future by alTuming the chara6ter of fools. One of the 

lirll evi'. refults of their long negled of home affairs was the want of a 

council-hall, and this want they now refolved to fupply without delay. 

They accordingly went to the hills and woods, cut down the timber, 

dra^^t^ed it with great labour to the town, and in due time completed the 

erection of a handfome and fubtlantial building. But, when they entered 

their new council-hall, what was their confternation to find themfelves 

in perfect darknels ! In fad, they had forgotten to make any windows. 

Another council was held, and one who had been among the wilell in 

the days of their wifdom, gave his opinion very oracularly ; the refult of 

which was that they ihould experiment on every poHible expedient for 

introducing light into the hall, and that they Ihould tirll try that which 

Teemed moft likely to fucceed. They had obferved that the light of day 

was caufed by funlhine, and the plan propofed was to meet at mid-day 

w hen the fun was brighteft, and fill facks, hampers, jugs, and veflels of all 

kinds, with funlhine and daylight, which they propofed afterwards to 

empty into the unfortunate council-hall. Next day, as the clock llruck 

one, you might fee a crowd of Schildburgers before the council-houfe 

door, bufily employed, fome holding the facks open, and others throwing 

the light into them with fhovels and any other appropriate implements 

which came to hand. While they were thus labouring, a (tranger came 

into the town of Schildburg, and, hearing what they were about, told 

fhem lh«y were labouring to no purpofe, and offered to Ihow them how 

to get the daylight into the iiall. It is unnecelfary to lay more than that 

tins new plan was to make an opening in the njof, and that the vSchild- 

burf'ers witnefled the etfedt with aflonilhment, and were loud in llieir 

gratitude to their new comer. 

The Schildburgers met with further difficulties before they com])leted 
their council-hall. They fuwed a field with fait, and when the f.dt-plaiit 

2 34 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

grew up next year, after a meeting of the council, at which it was ftiffly 
difputed whether it ought to be reaped, or mowed, or gathered in in fome 
other manner, it was finally difcovered that the crop confill:ed of nothing 
but nettles. After many accidents of this kind, the Schildburgers are 
noticed by the emperor, and obtain a charter of incorporation and freedom, 
but they profit httle by it. In trying fome experiments to catch mice, 
they fet fire to their houfes, and the whole town is barnt to the ground, 
upon which, in their forrow, they abandon it altogether, and become, like 
the Jews of old, fcattered over the world, carrying their own folly into 
every country they vifit. 

The earlieft known edition of the hiftory of the Schildburgers was 
printed in 1597,* but the ftory itfelf is no doubt older. It will be feen 
at once that it involves a fatire upon the municipal towns of the middle 
ages. A fimilar feries of adventures, only a little more clerical, bore the 
title of " Der Pfarrherrn vom Kalenberg," or the Parfon of Kalenberg, 
and was firfl, as far as we know, publilbed in the latter half of the 
fixteenth century. The firtl known edition, printed in 1382, is in profe. 
Von der Hagen, who reprinted a fubfequent edition in verfe, in a volume 
already quoted, feems to think that in its firfi: form the ftory belongs to 
the fourteenth century. 

The Schildburgers of Germany were reprefented in England by the 
wife men ot Gotham. Gotham is a village and parith about feven miles to 
the fouth-weft of Nottingham, and, curioufly enough, a ftory is told accord- 
ing to which the folly of the men of Gotham, like that of the Schild- 
burgers, was at firft affumed. It is pretended that one day king John, on 
his way to Nottingham, intended to pafs through the village of Gotham, 
and that the Gothamites, under the influence of fome vague notion that 
his prefence would be injurious to them, raifed difficulties in his way 
which prevented his vifit. The men of Gotham were now apprehenfive 
of the king's vengeance, and they refolved to try and evade it byalfuming 
the charaiter of fimp'letons. When the king's officers came to Gotham 

* It was reprinted by Von der Hagen, in a little volume entitled "Narrenbvirh ; 
herausgegcben durch Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen." izmo., Halle, 1811. 

/// Literature and Art. 1 3 i 

to inquire into the conduct of the inhabitants, they found them engaged 
in the moft extraordinary purfuits, fome of thcMii leeking to drown an eel 
in a pond of water, others making a hedge round a tree to conline a 
cuckoo which had fettled in it, and others employing themfelves in liniilar 
futile purfuits. The commillioners reported the people of Gotham to be 
no better than fools, and by this ttratagem they efcaped any further 
perfecution, but the charafter they alVumed remained attached to them. 

This explanation is, of courfe, very late and very apocryphal ; but 
there can be little doubt that the charader of the wife men of Gotham 
is one of confiderable antiquity. The ftory is believed to have been 
drawn up in its prefent form by Andrew Borde, an Englifh writer of the 
rt-ign of Henry VIII. It was reprinted a great number of times under 
the form of thofe popular books called chap-books, becaufe they were 
hawked about the country by itinerant bookfellers or chap-men. The 
a6fs of the Gothamites difplayed a greater degree of fimplicity even than 
thofe of the Schildburgers, but they are lefs connefted. Here is one 
anecdote told in the unadorned language of the chap-books, in explana- 
tion of which it is only necclTary to (late that the men of Gotham admired 
greatly tiie note of the cuckoo. " On a time the men of Gotham fain 
would have pinn'd in the cuckow, that flie might fing all the year ; and, 
in the midft of the town, they had a hedge made round in compafs, and 
got a cuckow and put her into it, and faid, ' Sing here, and you fhall lack 
neither meat nor drink all the year.' The cuckow, when flie perceived 
herfelf encompalfcd with the hedge, flew away. * A vengeance on her,' 
faid thefe wife men, 'we did not make our hedge high enough.'" t)n 
another occafion, having caught a large eel which offended them by its 
voracity, they affcmbled in council to deliberate on an appropriate punifh- 
ment, which ended in a refulution that it fhould be drowned, and the 
criminal was ceremonioufly thrown into a great pond. One day twelve 
men of Gotham went a-filhing, and on their way home they fuddenly 
difcovered that they had loft one of their number, and each counted in his 
turn, and could find only eleven. In fa6t, each forgot to count himfelf. 
In the midft of their dillrefs — for they believed their companion to be 
dnjuned — a ftranger approached, and learnt the caufe of their forrow. 

236 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Finding they were not to be convinced of their miftake by mere argument, 
he offered, on certain conditions, to tind the lofl Gothamite, and he 
proceeded as follows. He took one by one each of the twelve Gothamites, 
ftruck him a hard blow on the fhoulder, whicli made him fcream, and at 
each cry counted one, two, three, &c. When it came to twelve, they 
were all fatisfied that the loft Gothamite had returned, and paid the man 
for the fervice he had rendered them. 

As a chap-book, this hiftory of the men of Gotham became fo popular, 
that it gave rife to a hoft of other books of fimilar charafter, which were 
compiled at a later period under fuch titles — formerly well known to 
children — as, "The Merry Frolicks, or the Comical Cheats of Swalpo ;" 
"The Witty and Entertaining Exploits of George Buchanan, commonly 
called the King's Fool;" " Simple Simon's Misfortunes;" and the like. 
Nor muft it be forgotten that the hiftory of Eulenfpiegel was the proto- 
type of a clafs of popular hiftories of larger dimenfions, reprefented in our 
own literature by "The Englilh Rogue," the work of Richard Head and 
Francis Kirkman, in the reign of Charles H., and various other "rogues" 
belonging to different countries, which appeared about that time, or not 
long afterwards. The earlieft of thefe books was "The Spanifh Rogue, 
or Life of Guzman de Alfarache," written in Spanifti by Mateo Aleman 
in the latter part of the fixteenth century. Curioufly enough, fome 
Engliftiman, not knowing apparently that the hiftory of Eulenfpiegel had 
appeared in Englilh under the name of Owlglafs, took it into his head 
to introduce him among the family of rogues which had thus come 
into faftiion, and, in 1720, publifhed as "Made Englilh from the High 
Dutch," what he called "The German Rogue, or the Life and Merry 
Adventures, Cheats, Stratagems, and Contrivances of Tiel Eulefpiegle." 

The fifteenth century was the period during which mediaev^al forms 
generally were changing into forms adapted to another ftate of fociety, 
and in which much of the popular literature which has been in vogue 
during modern times took its rife. In the fourteenth century, the fabliaux 
of the jongleurs were already taking what we may perhaps term a more 
literary form, and were reduced into profe narratives. This took place 
efpecially in Italy, where thefe profe tales were called novelle, implying 

in Literature and Art. 237 

fome novelty in their character, a word which was transferred into the 
French language under the form of nouvellcs, and was the origin cf our 
modern Englilh novel, applied to a work of lidion. I'he Italian novelills 
adopted the Eallern plan of ftringing thefe llories together on the llight 
framework of one general plot, in which are introduced caufes for telling 
them and perfons who tell them. Thus the Decameron of Boccaccio 
holds towards the fabliaux exadly the fame politit)n as that of the 
"Arabian Nights" to the older Arabian tales. The Italian novelilis 
became numerous and celebrated throughout Europe, from the time of 
Boccaccio to that of Straparola, at the commencement of the lixteenth 
century, and later. The talle for this clafs of literature appears to have 
been introduced into France at the court of Burgundy, where, under 
duke Philippe le Bon, a well-known courtier and man of letters named 
Antoine de La Sale, who had, during a fojourn in Italy, become 
acquainted with one of the moll celebrated of the earlier Italian collections, 
the " Cento Novello," or the Hundred Novels, compiled a coUedlion in 
French in imitation of them, under the title of "Les Cent Nouvelles 
Nouvelles," or the Hundred new Novels, one of the pureft examples of the 
French language in the tifteenth century.* The later French flory-books, 
fuch as the Heptameron of the queen of Navarre, and others, belong chiefly 
to the lixteenth century. Ihefe collections of llories can hardly be laid 
to have ever taken root in this ifland as a part of Englilh literature. 

But there arofe partly out of thefe llories a clafs of books which 
became greatly multiplied, and were, during a long period, extremely 
popular. With the houfehold fool, or jefler, inilead of the old jougleur, 
the ftories had been Ihorn of their detail, and lank into the lliape of mere 
witty anecdotes, and at the fame time a talle arofe for what we now clafs 
under the general term of jells, clever layings, what the French call hms 
niuts, and what the Englifli of the lixteenth century termed " uuick 

• I am obliged to pass over this part of the subject very rapidly. For the 
history of that remarkable book, the " Cent Nouvclle!- Nouvelles," I would relet 
the nadcr to the prclaic to my own edition, *' Les Cent Nouvelles NcMivelies, 
publi6<.^ d'apr'^slc seul manuoirit c<)nnu,avcc Introihiition ct Notes, par M. Thomas 
Wrijjht." 2 vols, iimo., Paris, li^i. 

238 Hijlory of Caricature and Grofefque 

anlwers." The word je/i itl'elf arofe from the circumllance that the things 
defignated by it arofe out of the older ftories, for it is a mere corruption 
of geftes, the Latin gefta, in the fenfe of narratives of a6ts or deeds, or 
tales. The Latin writers, who firfi: began to colle£l them into books, 
included them under the general name of face tice. The earlier of thefe 
colleftions of facetiae were written in Latin, and of the origin of the firll 
with which we are acquainted, that by the celebrated fcholar Poggio of 
Florence, a curious anecdote is told. Some wits of the court of pope 
Martin v., elefted to the papacy in 141 7, among whom were the pope's tvv^o 
fecretaries, Poggio and Antonio Lufco, Cincio of Rome, and Ruzello of 
Bologna, appropriated to themfelves a private corner in the Vatican, where 
they affembled to chat freely among themfelves. They called it their 
luggiale, a word which lignifies in Italian, a place of recreation, where they 
tell ftories, make jefts, and amufe themfelves with difcuiiing fatirically the 
doings and charaiters of everybody. This was the way in which Poggio 
and his friends entertained themfelves in their buggiale, and we are affured 
that in their talk they neither fpared the church nor the pope himfelf or 
his government. The facetiae of Poggio, in fa6t, which are faid to be a 
felefition of the good things faid in thefe meetings, fhow neither reverence 
for the church of Rome nor refpeft for decency, but they are moflly ftories 
which had been told over and over again, long before Poggio came into 
the world. It was perhaps this fatlre upon the church and upon the 
ecclefiaftics which gave much of their popularity to thefe facetiae at a time 
when a univerfal agitation of men's minds on religious affairs prevailed, 
which was the great harbinger of the Reformation ; and the next Latin 
books of faceti* came from men fuch as Henry Bebelius, who were zealous 
reformers themfelves. 

Many of the jefts in thefe Latin colletVions are put into the mouths of 
jefters, or domeftic iooh, fatui, or moriones, as they are called in the Latin ; 
and in England, where thefe jeft-books in the vernacular tongue became 
more popular perhaps than in any other country, many of them were 
publilhed under the names of celebrated jeflers, as the " Merie Tales of 
Skelton," " The Jefts of Scogin," " Tarlton's Jefts," and " The Jefts of 
George Peele." 

in Literature and Art. 239 

John Skelton, poet-laureat oi his time, appears to have been known in 
the courts of Henry VII. and Henry VIII. quite as much in the charader 
of a jeller as in that of a poet. Poet-hmreat was then a title or degree 
given in the univerlity of 0.\.ford. His " Merye Tales " are all perfonal of 
himfelf, and we fhould be inclined to fay that his jelis and his poetry are 
equally bad. The former pidlure him as holding a place lomewhere 
between Eulenfpiegel and the ordinary court-fool. We may give as a 
lample of the bell of them the tale No. I. — 

" H'.''w Skelton came home late to Oxford from Ablngton. 

" Skelton was an Englyshcman borne as Skogyn was, and hee was educated and 
broui^htc up in Oxtoorde, and there was he made a poete lauriat. And on a tyme 
he had ben at Abbington to make mery, when that he had eate sake meatcs, and 
hcc did com late home to Oxtorde, and he did lye in an ine named the Tahere, 
whyche is now the Angell, and hee dyd drynke, and went to bed. About mid- 
night he was so thyrstie or drye that he was constrained to call to the tapster tor 
drynke, and the tapster harde him not. Then hee cryed to hys oste and hys ostes, 
and to the ostler, tor drinke, and no man would here hym. Alacke, sayd Skelton, 
I shall peryshe for lacke of drynke ! What reamedye ? At the last he dyd crie 
out and sayd, Fyer, tyer, fyer ! When Skelton hard every man bustle hymselfe 
upward, and some of them were naked, and some were halfe asleepe and amased, 
and Skelton dyd crye, Fier, fier ! styll, that everye man knewe not whether t»' 
resorte. Skelton did go to bed, and the oste and ostis, and the tapster, with tht 
ostler, dyd runne toSkeltons chamber with candles lyghted in theyr handes, sayinsj 
Where, where, where is the fyer ? Here, here, here, said Skelton, and poynted hy , 
fynj^er to hys mouth, saying. Fetch me some drynke to quenthe the fyer and the 
hcaic and the drinesse in my mouthe. And so they dyd." 

Another of thefe "Merye Tales" of Skelton contains a fatire upon 
the pra6tice which prevailed in the fixteenth and early part of the 
feventcenth centuries of obtaining letters-patent of monopoly from the 
crown, and alfo on the bibulous propenfities of Welfhmen — 

" lij-w the H^ehhman dyd dcsyre Skelton to ayde hym in hys sute to the kynge for a patent 

tn sell drynke. 

" Skelton, when he was in London, went to the kynges courte, where there did 
come to hym a Welshman, saying, Syr, it is so, that manye douth come upp of my 
roiiutry to the kynges court, and some doth get of the kyng by patent a casteil, and 
some a parke, and some a forest, and some one fee and some another, and they dooe 
lyvc lykc honest men j and I sluniide lyve as honestly as the best, if I mvght have 
a patync for good drynt kc, wherefore I dooe praye yow to write a fewe woords for 
mcc in a lytic byll to gcvc the same to the kvngc> handes, and I wil gevc you well 

240 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotcfque 

for your laboure. I am contented, sayde Skelton. Syt downe then, sayde the Welsh- 
man, and write. What shall I wryte ? sayde Skelton. The Welshman sayde wryte 
dryncke. Nowe, sayde the Welshman, write more dryncke. What now.? sayde Skelton. 
Wryte nowe, a great deale of dryncke. Nowe, sayd the Welshman, putte to all thys 
dryncke a littell crome of breade, and a great deale of drynke to it, and reade once agayne. 
Skelton dyd reade, Dryncke, more dryncke, and a great deale oj dryncke, and a lytic crome of 
hreade, and a great deale of dryncke to it. Than the Welshman sayde, Put oute the Ittle 
crome of breade, and sette in, all dryncke and no hreade. And it I myght have thys sygned 
of the kynge, sayde the Welshman, I care tor no more, as lons^e as I dooe lyve. 
Well then, sayde Skelton, when you have thys signed ot the kyng, then wyll I 
labour for a patent to have bread, that you wyth your drynke and I with the bread 
may fare well, and seeke our livinge with bagge and statFe." 

Thefe two tales are rather favourable fpecimens of the coUeftion 
publilhed under the name of Skekon, which, as far as we know, was firft 
printed about the middle of the fixteenth century. The coUeftion of the 
jefts of Scogari, or, as he was popularly called, Scogin, which is faid to 
have been compiled by Andrew Borde, was probably given to the world 
a few years before, but no copies of the earlier editions are now known 
to exill, Scogan, the hero of thefe jefts, is defcribed as occupying at the 
court of Henry VII. a pofition not much different from that of an ordinary 
court-fool. Good old Holinflied the chronicler fays of him, perhaps a 
.little too gently, that he was " a learned gentleman and ftudent for a 
time in Oxford, of a pleafant wit, and bent to merrie devices, in refpeft 
whereof he was called into the court, where, giving himfelfe to his na- 
turall inclination of mirth and pleafant paftime, he plaied manie fporting 
parts, although not in fuch uncivil manner as hath beene of him reported." 
This allufion refers moft probably to the jefts, which reprefent him as lead- 
ing a life of low and coarfe buffoonery, in the courfe of which he difplayed 
a confiderable fliare of the diihoneft and mifchievous qualities of the lefs 
real Eulenfpiegel. He is even reprefented as perfonally infulting the king 
and queen, and as being confequently baniilied over the Channel, to fhow 
no more refpeft to the majefty of the king of France. Scogin's jefts, like 
Skelton's, confift in a great meafure of thofe pra6tical jokes which appear 
in all former ages to have been the delight ot the Teutonic race. Many 
of them are direfted ag£,"nft the ignorance and worldlinefs of the clergy. 
Scogin is defcribed as being at one time himfelf a teacher in the univerlity. 

in Literature and Art. 241 

and on one occalion, we are told, a hulbandnian lent his Ion to Ichool to 
him that he might be made a priell. The whole llory, which runs through 
leveral chapters, is an excellent caricature on the way in which men 
vulgarly ignorant were intruded into the priefthood before the Refor- 
mation. At length, after much blundering, the fcholar came to be 
ordained, and his examination is reported as follows : — 

"How the scholhr said Tom M'tlUr of Otency loas "J acob" i father . 

"After this, the said scholler did come to the next orders, and brought a pre- 
sent to the ordinary from Scogin, but the schoUer's father paid for all. Then .said 
the ordinary to the scholler, I must needes oppose you, and for master Scogin's sake, 
I will oppose you in a light matter. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Who 
was Jacob's father ? The scholler stood still, and could not tell. Well, said the 
ordinary, I cannot admit you to be priest untill the next orders, and then liiing me 
an answer. The scholler went home with a heavy heart, bearing a letter to 
master Scogin, how his scholler could not answer to this question : I>-aac had two 
sons, Esau and Jacob ; who was Jacob's father ? Scogin said to his scholler. Thou 
foole and asse-head ! Dost thou not know Tom Miller of Oseney .'' Yes, said the 
scholler ! Then, said Scogin, thou knowest he had two sonnes, Tom and Jacke ; 
who is Jacke's father .' The scholler said, Tom Miller. Why, said Scogin, thou 
mightest have said that Isaac was Jacob's father. Then said Scogin, Thou shalt 
arise betime in the morning, and carry a lette'' to the ordinary, and I trust he will 
admit thee before the orders given. The scholler rose up betime in the 
morning, and carried the letter to the ordinary. The ordinary said, For Master 
Scogin'ssake I will oppose you no farther than I did yesterday. Isaac had two sons, 
Esau and Jacob ; who was Jacob's father ? Marry, said the scholler, I can tell 
you now that was Tom Miller of Oseney. Goe, foole, goe, said the ordinary, and 
let thy master send thee no more to me for orders, for it is impossible to make a 
foole a wise man." 

Scogin's fcholar was, however, made a prieft, and lome of the florics 

which follow defcribe the ludicrous manner in whicii he exercifed the 

priefthood. Two other (lories illuftrate Scogin's fuppoled pofition at 

court : — 

" Hov) Scogin told those that mocked him that he had a luall-eye. 

" Scogin went up and down in the king's hall, and his hosen hung downe, and 
his coat stood awry, and his hat stood a boonjour, so every man did mocke Si ogin. 
Some said he was a proper man, and did wear his raymcnt cleanly ; some said the 
foole could not put on his owne rayment ; some said one thing, and some said 
another. At last Scogin laid. Masters, you have praistil nie wtl, but you did not 


242 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefqiit 

espy one thing in me. What is that, Tom ? said the men. Marry, said Scogin, I have 
a wail-eye. What meanest thou by that ? said the men. Marry, said Scogin, I 
have spyed a sort of knaves that doe mocke me, and are worse fooles themselves." 

" Hcnv Scogin dreiv his sonne up and doiune the court. 

" After this Scogin went from the court, and put off his foole's garments, and 
came to the court like an honest man, and brought his son to the court with him, 
and within the court he drew his soniie up and downe l)y the heeles. The boy 
cried out, and Scogin drew the boy in every corner. At last every body had pity 
on the boy, and said, Sir, what doe you meane, to draw the boy about the court ? 
Masters, said Scogin, he is my sonne, and I doe it for this cause. Every man doth 
say, that man or child which is drawne up in the court shall be the better as long 
as hee lives ; and therefore I will every day once draw him up and downe the 
court, after that hee may come to preferment in the end." 

The appreciation of a good joke cannot at this time have been very 
great or very general, for Scogin's jefts were wonderfully popular during 
at leail a century, from the firfl half of the fixteenth century. They pafied 
through many editions, and are frequently alluded to by the writers of the 
Elizabethan age. The next individual whofe name appears at the head 
of a collettion of his jefls, was the well-known wit, Richard Tarlton^ who 
may be fairly confidered as court fool to Queen Elizabeth. His jefts 
belong to the fame clafs as thofe of Skelton and Scogin, and if poffible, they 
prefent a ftill greater amount of dulnefs. Tarlton's jefts were foon followed 
by the " merrie conceited jefts " of George Peele, the dramatift, who is 
defcribed in the title as "gentleman, fometimes ftudent in Oxford;" and 
it is added that in thefe jefts " is fhewed the courfe of his life^ how he 
hved 3 a man very well knowne in the city of London and elfewhere." 
In faftj Peele's jefts are chiefly curious for the ftriking pifture they give 
us of the wilder fliades of town life under the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I. 

During the period which witneffed the publication in England of 
thefe books, many other jeft-books appeared, for they had already 
become an important clafs of Engliih popular literature. Moft of 
them were publiflied anonymoufly, and indeed they are mere com- 
pilations from the older colIe6tions in Latin and French. All that 
was at all good, even in the jefls of Skelton, Scogin, Tarlton, and 
Peele, had been repeated over and over again by the ftory-tellers and 

//; Literature and Art. 243 

jellers of former ages. Two of the earlier Englilh colledions have 
gained a greater celebrity than the reft, chiefly through adventitious 
circumllances. One of thefe, entitled " A Hundred Merry Tales,' 
has gained diftin6lion among Shakespearian critics as the one efpecially 
alluded to by the great poet in " Much Ado about Nothing," (Act ii., 
Sc. i), where Beatrice complains that Ibmebody had faid " that I had 
my good wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales." The other colle6lion 
alluded to was entitled " Mery Tales, Wittie Queftions, and Quicke 
Anfweres, very pleafant to be rendde," and was printed in 1567. Its 
modern fame appears to have arifen chiefly from the circumftance that, 
until the accidental difcovery of the unique and imperfeft copy of the 
" Hundred Merry Tales," it was fuppofed to be the book alluded to by 
Shakefpeare. Both thefe colledions are mere compilations from the 
" Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles," Poggio," " Straparola," and other foreign 
works.* The words put into the mouth of Beatrice are corredly defcrip- 
live of the ufe made of thefe jeft-books. It had become fafhionable to 
learn out of them jefts and ftories, in order to introduce them into 
polite converfation, and efpecially at table ; and this pradice continued to 
prevail until a very recent period. The number of fuch jeft-books pub- 
lillied during the fixteenth, feventeeth, and eighteenth centuries, was 
(juite extraordinary. Many of thefe were given anonymouflyj but many 
alfo were put forth under names which poflelfed temporary celebrity, fuch 
as Hobfon the carrier, Killigrew the jefter, the friend of Charles II., Ben 
Jonfon, Garrick, and a multitude of others. It is, perhaps, unneceflliry 
to remind the reader that the great modern reprefentative of this clafs of 
literature is the illuftrious Joe Miller. 

• A neat and useful edition of these two jest-books, with the other most curious 
books of the same clais, published diirinfj the Elizabethan period, has recently been 
fjuljii iied in two volumes, by Mr. VV. C- Hazlitt. 

244 Hijlory of Carle at we and Grot ef que 







THE reign of Folly did not pafs away with the fifteenth century — on 
the whole the fixteenth century can hardly be faid to have been 
more fane than its predeceffor, but it was agitated by a long and fierce 
ftruggle to difengage European fociety from the trammels of the middle 
ages. We have entered upon what is technically termed the renailjance, 
and are approaching the great religious reformation. The period during 
•which the art of printing began firfl; to fpread generally over Weflern 
Europe, was peculiarly favourable to the produ6tion of fatirical books and 
pamphlets, and a confiderable number of clever and fpirited fatirifts and 
comic writers appeared towards the end of the fifteenth century, efpecially 
in Germany, where circumftances of a political charafter had at an early 
period given to the intelle«5tual agitation a more permanent llrength than 
it could eafily or quickly gain in the great monarchies. Among the more 
remarkable of thefe fatirifts was Thomas Murner, who was born at 
Strafburg, in 1^75- The circumftances even of his childhood are 
fingular, for he was born a cripple, or became one in his earliefi. infancy, 
though he was fubfequently healed, and it was fo univerfally believed 
that this malady was the efieft of witchcraft, that he himfelf wrote after- 
wards a treatife upon this fubjetl under the title of " De Phitonico 
Contra6tu." The fchool in which he was taught may at leait have 
encouraged his fatirical fpirit, for his mafter was Jacob Locher, the fame 
who tranflated into Latin verfe the " Ship of Fools " of Sebaftian Brandt. 

in Literature a fid Art. 245 

At the end of the century Murner had become a mafter of arts in the 
Univerlity of Paris, and had entered the Francilban order. His reputa- 
tion as a German popular poet was fo great, that the emperor Maxi- 
miUan I., \vho died in 1519, conferred upon him the crown of poetry, or, 
in other words, made him poet-laureat. He took the degree of do6tor 
in theology in 1509. Still Murner was known beft as the popular writer, 
.md he publilhed feveral fatirical poems, which were remarkable for the 
bold woodcuts that illullrated them, for engraving on wood flourilhed at 
this period. He expofed the corruptions of all claffes of fociety, and, 
oefore the Reformation broke out, he did not even Ipare the corruptions 
of the ecclelialtical Hate, but loon declared himfelf a fierce opponent of 
the Reformers. When the Lutheran revolt againrt the Papacy became 
ftrong, our king, Henry VHI., who took a decided part againft Luther, 
invited Murner to England, and on his return to his own country, the 
fatiric Francifcan became more bitter againft the Reformation than ever. 
He advocated the caufe of the Englilh monarch in a pamphlet, now very 
rare, in \\\\\c\\ he difculled the quellion whether Henry VHL or Luther 
was the liar — " Antwort dem Murner ufF feine frag, ob der kiinig von 
En>'llant cin Liigner fey oder Martinus Luther," Murner appears to 
liave divided the people of his age into rogues and fools, or perhaps he 
conlidered the two titles as identical. His " Narrenbefchwerung," or 
Confpiracy of Fools, in which Brandt's idea was followed up, is fuppofed 
to have been publilhed as early as 1506, but the firfl printed edition with 
a date, appeared in 1512. It became fo popular, that it went through 
feviral editions during fubfequent years; and that which I have before 
me was printed at Stralburg in 1518. It is, like Brandts "Ship of 
Fools," a general fatire againft fociety, in which the clergy are not 
fparcd, for the writer had not yet come in face of Luther's Reformation. 
The cuts are fuperior to thole of Brandt's book, and fome of them arc 
remarkable for their delign and execution. In one of the earlieft ot them, 
(opied in the cut No. 139, Folly is introduced in the garb of a hulband- 
man, Icallering his feed over the earth, the refult oi which is a very 
(juick and flourilhing crop, the fool's heads rifnig above ground, almoll 
mllantaneoully, Uke fo many turnips. In a fubfc(iutnt engraving, reprc- 

246 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Tented in our cut No. 140, Folly holds out, as an objeft of emulation, the 
fool's cap, and people of all clafles, the pope himfelf, and the emperor, 
and all the great dignitaries of this world, prefs forward eagerly to feize 
upon it. 

The fame year (15 12) witnefled the appearance of another poetical, 
or at leaft metrical, fatire by Murner, entitled " Schelmenzunft," or the 
Confraternity of Rogues, fimilarly illuftrated with very fpirited engravings 

No. 139. Solving a Fruitful Crop. 

on wood. It is another demonftration of the prevailing dominion of 
folly under its worft forms, and the fatire is equally general with the 
preceding. Murner's fatire appears to have been felt not only generally, 
but perfonally; and we are told that he was often threatened with aflafli- 
nation, and he raifed up a number of literary opponents, who treated him 
with no little rudeneis 5 in fatt, he had got on the wrong fide of politics, 
or at all events on the unpopular fide, and men who had more talents 
and greater weight appeared as his opponents — men like Ulrich von 
Utten, and Luther himfelf. 

Among the fatirifls who efpoufed the caufe to which Murner was 
oppofed, we mull not overlook a man who reprefented in its flrongefl 

t?i Literature and Art. 


features, though in a rather debafed form, ihc old fpoutaueous poetry of 
the middle ages. His name was Hans Sachs, at lealt that was the name 
under which he was known, for his real name is faid to have been 
Loutrdorrt'er. His fpirit was entirely that of the old wandering minrtrel, 
and it was fo powerful in him, that, having been apprenticed to the craft 
of a weaver, he was no fooner freed from his indentures, than he took to 
a vagabond life, and wandered from town to town, gaining his living by 

TTo. 140. -An Acceptable Offering. 

finc^ing the verfes he compofed upon every occafion which prefented itfelf. 
In I J 19, he married and fettled in Nuremberg, and his compofitions 
were then given to the public through the prefs. The number of thefc 
was quite extraordinary — fongs, ballads, fatires, and dramatic pieces, rude 
in flyle, in accordance with the tafte of the time, but full of clevernefs. 
Many of them were prmted on broadfidcs, ami illuftrated with large 
engravings on wood. Hans Sachs joined in llie crufade againll the 
empire of Folly, and one of his broadfides is illullrated with a graceful 
dehgn, the greater part of which is copied in our cut No. J41. A party 
of ladies have fct a bird-trap to .-atch the fools of t};e age, who arc 

248 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

waiting to be caught. One fool is taken in the trap, while another is 
already fecured and pinioned, and others are rufhing into the fnare. A 
number of people of the world, high in their dignities and ftations, are 
looking on at this remarkable fcene. 

No. 141. Bird -Traps. 

The evil influence of the female fex was at this time proverbial, and, 
in faft, it was an age of extreme licentioufnefs. Another poet-laureat of 
the time, Henricus Bebelius, born in the latter half of the fifteenth 
century, and rather well known in the literature of his time, publifhed, 
in 15 15, a fatirical poem in Latin, under the title of "Triumphus Veneris," 
which was a fort of expofition of the generally licentious charafter of the 
age in which he lived. It is diftributed into fix bocks, in the third of 
which the poet attacks the whole ecclefiaftical ftate, not fparing the pope 
himfelf, and we are thereby perfedly well initiated into the weaknelfes 
of the clergy. Bebelius had been preceded by another writer on this part 
of the fubjedl, and we might fay by many, for the incontinence of monks 

in Literature and Art. 


and nuns, and indeed of all the clerg)', had long been a lubje6t of fatire. 
But the writer to whom I efpecially allude was named Paulus Olearius, 
his name in German being Oelfchliigel. He publilhed, about the year 
1500, a fatirlcal tra6t, under the title of " De Fide Concubinarum in 
Sacerdotes." It was a bitter attack on the licentioufneli of the clerorj% 
and was rendered more etfe6live by the engravings which accompanied it. 
We give one of thefe as a curious pifture of contemporary manners ; the 

No. 142. Court fh'tp. 

individual who comes within the range of the lady's attractions, though 
he may be a fcholar, has none of the chara6teriftics of a prieft. She 
prefents a nofegay, which we may fuppofe to reprefcnt the influence of 
perfume upon the fenfesj but the love of the ladies for pet animals is 
efjK'cially typified in the monkey, attached by a chain. A donkey appears 
to fhow by his heels his contempt for the lover. 

From an early period, the Roman church had been accuftomed ta 
treat contcmptuouny, as well as cruelly, all who dilfented from its dcdrines, 
or objected to ;ts government, and this feehng was continued down to the 
age of the Reformation, in fpitecjftlK' icjiieof liberalifm whicii was beginning 

250 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 

to Ihine forth in the writings of fome of its greateft ornaments. Some 
refearch among the dufty, becaufe little ufed, records of national archives 
and libraries would no doubt bring to light more than one Angular cari- 
cature upon the " heretics " of the middle ages, and my attention has 

been called to one which is poffefled 
of peculiar interell. There is, among 
the imperial archives of France, in 
Paris, among records relating to the 
country of the Albigeois in the thir- 
teenth century, a copy of the bull of 
pope Innocent IV. giving dire6lions 
for the proceedings againft diffenters 
from Romanifm, on the back of which 
the fcribe, as a mark of his contempt 
for thefe arch-heretics of the fouth, 
has drawn a caricature of a woman 
bound to a flake over the fire which is 
to burn her as an open opponent of 
the church of Rome. The choice of 
a woman for the vi6Vim was perhaps intended to fliow that the profe- 
lytifm of herefy was efpecially fuccefsful among the weaker fex, or that 
it was confidered as having fome relation to witchcraft. It is, by a long 
period, the earlieft known pictorial reprefentation of the punilliraent of 
burning infliiled on a heretic. 

The fhafts of fatire were early employed againfl Luther and his new 
principles, and men like Murner, already mentioned, Emfer, Cochlaeus, 
and others, fignalifed themfelves by their zeal in the papal caufe. As 
already flated, Murner diftinguiftied himfelf as the literary ally of our 
Aing Henry VIII. The talle for fatirical writings had then become fo 
general, that Murner complains in one of his satires that the printers 
would print nothing but abufive or fatirical works, and neglefted his more 

No. 143. Burning a Heretic . 

ferious writings. 

Dajindt die trucker fchuld daran, 

Die trucken ah die Gauchcreicn, 

XJii'i lij^eti mein ernfi^''<:he biicher Icihcn. 

in Literature and Art. 


No. 144. Folly in Monaftk Habit. 

Some of Murner's writings agaiiilt, moll of which are now very 
rare, are extremely violent, and they are generally illuarated with fatirical 
woodcuts. One of thefe books, printed 
without name of place or date, is 
entitled, " Of the great Lutheran Fool, 
how Dodor Murner has exorcifed him " 
{Von dem grojjen Luthcrl[Jcken Narren, 
wie in Doctor Murner iefchworcti hat). 
In the woodcuts to this book Murner 
himfelf is introduced, as is ufually the 
cafe in thefe fatirical engravings, under 
the character of a Francifcan friar, 
with the head of a cat, while Luther 
appears as a fat and jolly monk, wear- 
ing a fool's cap, and figuring in various 
ridiculous circumftances. In one of the 
firft woodcuts, the cat Francifcan is 
drawing a rope so tight round the great Lutheran fool's neck, that he 
compels him to difgorge a multitude of fmaller fools. In another 
the great Lutheran fool has his purfe, or pouch, full of little fools 
fufpended at his girdle. This latter figure is copied in the cut No. 144, as 
an example of the form under which the great reformer appears in tliele 
fatirical reprefentations. 

In a few other caricatures of this period which have been preferved, 
the apoftle of the Reforniation is attacked fiill more I'avagely. Thtt one 
here given (Fig. 14';), taken from a contemporary engraving on wood, 
prefents a rather fantaftic figure of the demon playing on the bagpipes. 
Ihe inftrument is formed of Luther's head, the pipe througi) which the 
devil blows entering his ear, and tliat through which the mu(ic is 
produced forming an elongation of the reformer's nofe. It was a broad 
intimation that Luther was a mere to(jl of the evil one, created for the 
purpofe of bringing n)ifchief into the world. 

The reformers, however, were, more than a match for their opponents 
m this f(jrt of warfare. Luther himfelf was full of comic and fatiric 

252 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

humour, and a mals of the talent of that age was ranged on his fide, both 
literary and artillic. After the reformer's marriage, the papal party 
quoted the old legend, that Antichrifl was to be born of the union of 
a monk and a nun, and it was intimated that if Luther himfelf could 
not be dire6tly identified with Antichrifl:, he had, at leaft, a fair 
chance of becoming his parent. But the reformers had refolved, on what 
appeared to be much more conclufive evidence, that Antichrifl: wa* 

No. 145. The Mufic of the Demon, 

only emblematical of the papacy, that under this form he had been long- 
dominant on earth, and that the end of his reign was then approaching. 
A remarkable pamphlet, defigned to place this idea pidorially before the 
public, was produced from the pencil of Luther's friend, the celebrated 
painter, Lucas Cranach, and appeared in the year 1521 under the title of 
"The Paffionale of Chrill and Antichrifl:" (Pafflonal Chrifti unci And- 
chrifti). It is a fmall quarto, each page of which is nearly filled by a 
woodcut, having a few lines of explanation in German below. The cut 

in Literature and Art. 


to the left reprel'ents ibme incident in the lite ot" Chrilt, while that lacing 
it to the right gives a contrarting fa6t in the hiftory of papal tyranny. 
Thus the firft cut on the left reprefents Jefus in His humility, refufing 
earthly dignities and power, while on the adjoining page we fee the pope, 
with his cardinals and bilhops, lupported by his holts of warriors, his 
cannon, and his fortifications, in his temporal dominion over lecular 

A's. 146. 'L'h.c Dcjcent of the Pope. 

prince«. When we open again we fee on one fide Chrift crowned with 
thorns by the infulting foldiery, and on the other the pope, enthroned in 
all his worldly glory, exacting the worfliip ot his courtiers. On another 
we have Chrift walhing the feet of His difciples, and in contrail the pope 
compelling the emperor to kifs his toe. And lb on, through a numlier ol 
curious illuflratioas, until at laft wc come to Chrilt's afcenlion into heaven. 

254 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

in contrail with which a troop of demons, of the moft varied and fingular 
forms, have feized upon the papal Antichrift, and are calting him down 
into the flames of hell, where fome of his own monks wait to receive v 
him. This laft pidure is drawn with lb much fpirit, that I have copied 
it in the cut No. 146. 

The monftrous figures of animals which had amufed the fculptors and 
miniaturifts of an earlier period came \\\ time to be looked upon as 

realities, and were not only regarded with 
wonder as phyfical deformities, but were 
objeftsof fuperliition, for they were believed 
to be fent into the world as warninsrs of 


great revolutions and calamities. During 
the age preceding the Reformation, the 
reports of the births or difcoveries of fach 
monfters were very common, and engravings 
of them were no doubt profitable articles of 
merchandife among the early book-hawkers, 
Two of thefe were very celebrated in the 
time of the Reformation, the Pope-afs and 
the Monk-calf, and were publifhed and re- 
publifhed with an explanation under the 
names of Luther and Melan6thon, which 
made them emblematical of the Papacy and 
of the abules of the Romifh church, and, of 
courfe, prognoftications of their approaching 
expofure and fall. It was pretended that 
the Pope-afs was found dead in the river Tiber, at Rome, in the year 
1496. It is reprefented in our cut No. 147, taken from an engraving pre- 
ferved in a very curious volume of broadfide Lutheran caricatures, in the 
library of the Britifli Mufeum, all belonging to the year 1545, though this 
defign had been publiflied many years before. The head of an afs, we are 
told, reprefented the pope himfelf, with his falfe and carnal do6trines. 
The right hand refembled the foot of an elephant, fignifying the fpiritual 
powt-r of the pope, which was heavy, and ftamped down and cruihed 

No. 147. The Pope-afs. 

in Literature and Art. 


people's confciences. The left hand was that of a man, fignitying the 
worldly power of the pope, which grafped at univerfal empire over kings 
and princes. The right foot was that of an ox, lignifying the fpiritual 
minilters of the papacy, the do6lors of the church, the preachers, con- 
feflbrs, and fcholaftic theologians, and efpecially the monks and nuns, 
ihofe who aided and fupported the pope in opprefling people's bodies 
and fouls. The left foot was that of a griffin, an animal which, when it 
once feizes its prey, never lets it efcape, and lignified the canonifts, the 
monfters of the pope's temporal power, who 
grafped people's temporal goods, and never 
returned them. The breall and belly of 
this monfter were thofe of a woman, and 
fignihed the papal body, the cardinals, bif- 
hops, priefts, monks, &c., who fpent their 
lives in eating, drinking, and incontinence 5 
and this part of the body was naked, becaufe 
the popilh clergy were not alhamed to ex- 
pofe their vices to the public. The legs, 
arms, and neck, on the contrary, were clothed 
with tifhcb' fcales ; thefe rigi\iried the tem- 
poral princes and lords, who were moftly in 
alliance with the papacy. The old man's 
head behind the monflcr, meant that the 
papacy had become old, and was approaching its end ; and the head of 
a dragon, vomiting flames, which ferved for a tail, was fignificative of the 
"•reat threats, the venomous horrible bulls and bbfphemous writings, 
which the pontitTand his minifters, enraged at feeing their end approach, 
were launching into the world againft all who oppofed them. Thele 
explanations were fupported by apt quotations from the Scriptiires, and 
were fo eflfeiStive, and became fo popular, that the pitfure was publiflied 
in various flnpes, and was feen adorning the walls of the humblelt cottages. 
1 believe it is ftill to be met with in a fimilar pofition in fonic parts of 
Germany. It was confidered at the time to be a mallerly piece of fatire. 
'fhe picture of the Monk-calf, which is n-prcfented in our cut No. 14H, 

No. 148. The Monk-Calf. 

2^6 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

was publillied at the fame time, and ufually accompanies it. This monger 
is faid to have been born at Freyburg, in Mifnia, and is fimply a rather 
coarfe emblem of the monachal character. 

The volume of caricatures juft mentioned contains feveral fatires on 
the pope, v/hich are all very fevere, and many of them clever. One has 
a movable leaf, which covers the upper part of the pifture j when it is 
down, we have a reprefentation of the pope in his ceremonial robes, and 

l>Jo. 149. The Head of the Papacy. 

over it the infcription ALEX . VI . PONT . MAX. Pope Alexander VI. 
was the infamous Roderic Borgia, a man ftained with all the crimes and 
vices which flrike mofl horror into men's minds. When the leaf is raifed, 
another figure joins itfelf with the lower part of the former, and reprefents 
a papal demon, crowned, the crofs being transformed into an inftrument 
of infernal punilhment. This figure is reprefented in our cut No. 14Q. 

tn Literature and Art. 


Above it are infcribed the words EGO . S\'M . I'Al'A, • 1 ;im tlio Pope." 
Attached to it is a page of explaii-ition in Gi.'rman, in which the legend 
of that pope's death is given, a legend that his wicked life appeared fiifficicnt 
to fanttion. It was faid that, dillrulling the fuccefs of his intrigues to fecure 
the papacy for himfelf, he applied himfelf to the llndy of the black art. 
and fold himfelf to the Evil One. He then alked the tempter if it were 
his deftiny to be pope, and received an anhver in tlie affirmative. He 
next inquired how long he Ihould hold the papacy, but Satan returned an 
equivocal and deceptive anfwer, for Borgia underftood that he was to be 
pope fifteen years, whereas he died at the end of eleven. It is well 
known that Pope Alexander VI. died fuddenly and unexpeftedly through 
accidentally drinking the poifoned wine he had prepared with his own 
hand for the murder of another man. 

An Italian theatine wrote a poem againft the Reformation, in which 
he made Luther the offspring of Megoera, one of the furies, who is 
reprefented as having been fent from 
hell into Germany to be delivered of 
him. This farcafm was thrown back 
upon the pope with much greater effect 
by the Lutheran caricaturiffs. One of the 
plates in the above-mentioned volume 
rcprefents the " birth and origin of the 
pope" {ortus et origo papa), making 
the pope identical with Antichrift. In 
different groups, in this rather elaborate 
(Iclign, the child is reprefented as at- 
tended by the three furies, Megaera ad- 
ing as his wet-nurfe, Alefto as nurfery-maid, and Trli phone in another 
capacity, &c. The name of Martin Luther is added to this caricature 

Hie luird gcborn der fViderchrifl. 
Megera Jein Seugamme ijl ; 
yiUBo Jein Keinderir.eidUn, 
Tifiphone die gfgclt in. — M. Lutli., li. l.'il'i. 

No I 50 Tke Pope's Nurfe. 

On-: of ti)c groups in tliis plate, repre%::ting the lurv Megrt-ra, a 

258 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

becoming fofter-mother, fuckling the pope-infant, is given in our cut, 

No. I jo. 

In another of thefe caricatures 
the pope is reprefented trampling on 
the emperor, to fliow the manner in 
which he ufurped and tyrannifed 
over the temporal power. Another 
illuftrates " the kingdom of Satan and 
the Pope " (regnum Satance et Papce), 
and the latter is reprefented as pre- 
fidins: over hell-mouth in all his ftate. 


One, given in our cut No. [51, repre- 
fents the pope under the form of an 
afs playing on the bagpipes, and is 
entitled Papa doFtor theologies et ma- 
gjjter Jidei. Four lines of German 
verfe beneath the engraving ftate how 
"the pope can alone expound Scrip- 
ture and purge error, juft as the afs 



The Pope gi-vlng the Tune. 

alone can pipe and touch the notes corre6tly." 

Der Bapfi kan allein aujlegen 

Die Schrifft, und irthum auifegen j 

Wie der ejel allein pfeiffen 

Kan, und die noten recht greijfen. — 1545. 

This was the laft year of Luther's a6tive labours. At the commence- 
ment of the year following he died at Eiflleben, whither he had gone to 
attend the council of princes. Thefe caricatures may perhaps be con- 
fidered as fo many proclamations of fatisfaftion and exultation in the final 
triumph of the great reformer. 

Books, pamphlets, and prints of this kind were multiplied to an extra- 
ordinary degree during the age of the Reformation, but the majority of 
them were in the intereft of the new movement. Luther's opponent, 
Eckius, complained of the ^nfinite number of people who gained their 

i?i Literature and Art. 259 

living by wandering over all parts of Germany, and felling Lutheran 
books * Among thofe who adminillered largely to this circulation of 
polemic books was the poet of farces, comedies, and ballads, Hans Sachs, 
already mentioned. Hans Sachs had in one poem, publilhed in \'\'\^, 
celebrated Luther under the title of" the ^^'ittemberg: Nightino^ale :" — 

Die Wittembergijch'' Nachtigally 
Die manjetzt horet uberall i 

and defcribed the eft'e6ls of his fong over all the other animals ; and he 
publifhed, alfo in verfe, what he called a Monument, or Lament, on his 
<lo3th (" Ein Denkmal oder Klagred" ob der Leiche Doktors Martin 
Luther"). Among the numerous broadfides publilhed by Hans Sachs, 
one contains the very clever caricature of which we give a copy in our 
cut No. 152. It is entitled "Der gut Hirt und biifs Hirt," the good 
lliepherd and bad ihepherd, and has for its text the opening verfes of the 
tenth chapter of the gcffpel of St. John. The good and bad fliepherds 
are, as may be fuppofed, Chrift and the pope. The church is here 
pictured as a not very (lately building ; the entrance, efpecially, is a plain 
llru6lure of timber. Jefus laid to the Phanfees, "He that entereth not 
by the door into the Iheepfold, but climbeth up fome other way, the fame 
is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the 
(liepherd of the flock." In the engraving, the pope, as the hireling 
Ihepherd, fits on the roof of the ftateliell part of the building, pointing 
out to the Chriftian flock the wrong way, and blefling the climbers. 
Under him two men of worldly diftiii6tion are making their way into 
the church through a window; and on a roof below a friar is pcjiuting 
to the people the way up. At another window a monk holds out his 
arms to invite people up; and uwc in fpe6tacles, no doubt emblematical 
of the doctors of the church, is looking out from an c^penlng over the 
entrance door to watch the proceedings of the G(Jod Shephenl. ''''^ (he 

• " Infinitns jam crat numcrus qui victum ex Luthcranis liliris quacritantfs, in 
spc(i«ii bibliopolarum longc latequc per Germaniac provincias vaKabantur." — 
Elk., p. 58. 

26o Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

right, on the papal fide of the church, the lords and great men are 
bringing the people under their influence, till they are (topped by the 

cardinals and bifliops, who prevent them from going forward to the door 
and point out very energetically the way up the roof At the door ftands. 

in Literature and Art, 


the Saviour, as the good Ihephcrd, who has knocked, and the porter has 
opened it with his key. Chrilt's true teachers, the evangeHfts, fhow the 
way to the fohtary man of worth who comes by this road, and who Hfiens 
with calm attention to the gofpel teachers, while he opens his purfe to 
beftow his charity on the poor man by the road fide. In the orij^iuat 
engraving, in the dirtance on the left, the Good Shepherd is feen followed 
by his flock, who are obedient to his voice ; on the right, the bad fliep- 
herd, who has oftentatioufly drawn up his flieep round the image of the 
■crols. is abandoning them, and taking to flight on the approach of the 
wolf. " He that entcreth in by tiie door is the fliepherd of the fheep. 
To him the porter openeth ; and the flicep hear his voice, and he calleth 
tiis own flieep by name, and leadcth ihem out. 
And when he putteth forth his own flieep he 
goeth before them, and the flieep follow him, 
for they know his voice. . . . But he that is an 
hireling, and not the fliepherd, whofe own the 
Iheep are not, feeth the wolf coming, and 
leaveth the flieep, and fleeth ; and the wolf 
catcheth them, and fcattereth the flieep." 
(John X. 2 — 4, 12.) 

The triumph of Luther is the fubjeft of a 
rather large and elaborate caricature, which is 
an engraving of great rarity, bm a copy of it 
.!S gi\en in Jaime's " Muli'e de Caricature. " 
Leo X. is reprefented feated on his throne upon 
the edge of the abyfs, into which his cardinals 
zxe. tr)ing to prevent his falling; but their A'c 153. Murmr and Lutier"' 
efforts are rendered vain by the appearance ""^^ 

of Luther on the other fide fiipported by his principal adherr^uts, an*: 
wielding the Bible as his weapon, and the pope is overthrown, in Ipite of 
the fujiport he receives from a vaft hofl of popifli clergy, doctors, &c. 

The popifti writers againft Luther charged him witii vices for whicli 
there was probably no foundation, and invented the iiioft liandaloiis flonrs 
againft him. They accufed him, among other things, of drunkenneLs and 

262 mjtory of Caricature and Grotefque 

licentioufnefs • and there may, perhaps, be fome aUufion to the latter 
charge in our cat No. 153, which is taken from one of the comic illuftra- 
tions to Murner's book, "Von dem groffen Lutherifchen Narren," which 
was pubhlhed in 1522 ; but, at all events, it will ferve as a fpecimen of 
thefe illuflrations, and of Murner's fancy of reprefenting himfelf with the 
head of a cat. In 1525, Luther married a nun who had turned Proteftant 
and quitted her convent, named Catherine de Bora, and this became the 
fignal to his opponents for indulging in abufive fongs, and fatires, and 
caricatures, moft of them too coarfe and indelicate to be defcribed in thefe 
pages. In many of the caricatures made on this occafion, which are 
ufually woodcut illuflrations to books written againft the reformer, Luther 
is reprefented dancing with Catherine de Bora, or fitting at table with a 
glafs in his hand. An engraving of this kind, which forms one of the 
illuflrations to a work by Dr. Konrad "VVimpina, one of the reformer's 
violent opponents, reprefents Luther's marriage. It is divided into three 
compartments; to the left, Luther, whom the Catholics always repre- 
fented in the charafter of a monk, gives the marriage ring to Catherine 
de Bora, and above them, in a sort of aureole, is infcribed the word 
Fovete ; on the right appears the nuptial bed, with the curtains drawn, 
and the infcription Reddite ; and in the middle the monk and nun are 
dancing joyoufly together, and over their heads we read the words — 

Dijcedat ah arh 
Cui tul'it heflerna gaiid'm noEle Venus. 

While Luther was heroically lighting the great fight of reform in 
Germany, the foundation of religious reform was laid in France by John 
Calvin, a man equally fincere and zealous in the caufe, but of a totally 
diflterent temper, and he efpoufed do6lrines and forms of church govern- 
ment which a Lutheran would not admit. Literary fatire was ufed with 
great effedt by the French Calvinills againll tlieir popilh opponents, but 
they have left us few caricatures or burk-ique engravings of any kind ; at 
leaft, very few belonging to the earlier period of their hiflory. Jaime, in 
his " Mufee de Caricature," has given a copy of a very rare plate, repre- 
fenting the pope flruggling with Luther and Calvin, as his two atlailants. 

in Literature and Art. 


Both are tearing the pope's hair, but it is Calvin who is here armed with 
the Bible, with which he is Itriking at Luther, who is pulling him by the 
beard The pope has his hands upon their heads. This Icene takes 

No. I 54. Luther and Calvin. 

place in the choir of a church, but I give here (cut No, 154) only the 
group of the three combatants, intended to reprefent how the two great 
opponents to papal corruptions were hoftile at the fame time to eacb 

264 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 






THERE is ftill another branch of literature which, however it may 
have been modified, has defcended to us from the middle ages. It 
has been remarked more than onre in the courfe of this book, that the 
theatre of the Romans perifhed in the tranfition from the empire to the 
middle ages 5 but Ibmething in the lliape of theatrical performances 
appears to be infeparable from fociety even in its moft barbarous liate, 
and we foon trace among the peoples who had fettled upon the ruins of 
the empire of Rome an approach towards a drama. It is worthy of 
remark, too, that the mediaeval drama originated exaftly in the fame way 
as that of ancient Greece, that is, from religious ceremonies. 

Such was the ignorance of the ancient ftage in the middle ages, that 
the meaning of the word comcedia was not underftood. The Anglo- Saxon 
gloffaries interpret the word by racu, a narrative, elpecially an epic 
recital, and this was the fenfe in which it was generally taken until late 
in the fourteenth or the fifteenth century. It is the fenfe in which it is 
ufed in the title of Dante's great poem, the " Divina Commedia." 
Whexi the mediaeval fcholars became acquainted in manufcripts with the 
comedies ot Terence, th^y confidered them only as fine examples of a 
particular fort of literary compofition, as metrical narratives in dialogue, 
and in this feeling they began to imitate them. One of the fi.rft of thefe 

in Literature and Art. 265 

mediaeval imitators was a lady. There lived in the tenth century a 
maiden of Saxony, named HrotlVitha — a rather unfortunate name for one 
of her fex, for it means fimply "a loud noife of voices," or, as flie explains 
it herfelf, in her Latin, clamor validus. Hrotfvitha, as was common enough 
among the ladies of thofe days, had received a very learned education, 
and her Latin is very refpedable. About the middle of the tenth century, 
ihe became a nun in the very ariltocratic Benedi6line abbey of Gandef- 
heim, in Saxony, the abbelfes of which v.cre all princeffes, and which 
had been founded only a century before. She wrote in Latin verfe a 
Ihort hiftory of that religious houfe, but Ihe is beft known by feven pieces, 
which are called comedies {comoedice) , and which confirt fimply of legends 
of faints, told dialogue-wife, fome in verfe and fome in profe. As may 
be fuppofed, there is not much of real comedy in thefe compofitions, 
although one of them, the Dulcitius, is treated in a &y\e. which 
approaches that of farce. It is the ftory of the martyrdom of the three 
virgin faints — Agape, Chione, and Irene — who excite the lufl of the per- 
fecutor Dulcitius ; and it may be remarked, that in this " comedy," and 
in that of Callimachus and one or two of the others, the lady Hrotfvitha 
difplays a knowledge of love-making and of the language of love, which 
was hardly to be expe6ted from a holy nun.* 

Hrotfvitha, in her preface, complains that, in fpite of the general love 
for the reading of the Scriptures, and contempt for everything derived 
from ancient paganifm, people ftill too often read the "fidions" of Terence, 
and thus, feduced by the beauties of his ftyle, foiled their minds with the 
knowledge of the criminal a6is which are defcribed in his writings. A 
rather early manufcript has prefer\'ed a very curious fragniLMit ilhillrative 

• Several editions of the writings of Hrotsvitha, texts and translations, iiave 
hecn published of late years both in Germany and in France, of wliicli I may point 
out the following a'^ most useful and comi>lctc— " ThtJatre de Hrotsvitlia, Rt-lif;icusc 
Allcmande du x* siccie. ... par Charles Magnin," 8vo., Paris, 1845 ; " Hrotsvitha 
Cjandeshemen^is, virginis ct monialis Germanlcrc, >;entc Saxonica ortx-, Conue- 
dias sex, ail fidem codicis Emraeranen'is typis exprcssas eciidit. ... J. JJencdixtn," 
j6mo.. Luhcrar, 1857 ; " Die VVerlce dcr Hrotsvitha : Herausgegebcn von Dr. K. 
A. Barack," 8vo., Niimbcrg, 1858. 

266 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotejque 

of the manner in which the comedies of the Romans were regarded by 
one clafs of people in the middle ages, and it has alfo a further meaning. 
Its form is that of a dialogue in Latin verfe between Terence and a per- 
fonage called in the original deliifor, which was no doubt intended to exprefs 
a performer of fome kind, and may be probably confidered as fynonymous 
with jowyleur. It is a contention between the new jouglerie of the 
middle ages and the old jouglerie of the fchools, fomewhat in the fame 
liyle as the fabliau of " Les deux Troveors Ribauz," defcribed in a former 
chapter.* We are to'fuppofe that the name of Terence has been in fome 
way or other brought forward in laudatory terms, upon which the jougleur 
Iteps forward from among the fpeftators and exprelTes himfelf towards the 
Roman writer very contemptuoully. Terence then makes his appearance 
to fpeak in his own defence, and the two go on abufing one another in 
no very meafured language. Terence alks his affailant who he is ? to 
which the other replies, "If you alk who I am, I reply, I am better than 
thee. Thou art old and broken with years ; I am a tyro, full of vigour, 
and in the force of youth. You are but a barren trunk, while I am a 
good and fertile tree. If you hold your tongue, old fellow, it will be 
much better for you." 

Si rogitas quh fum, refpondeo : te melior futn. 
Tu -vetus atque jencx ; ego tyro, -valens, adulejcens. 
Tu Jleriits tr uncus ,• egofertUh arbor, opinius. 
Si taceas, o -vetule, lucrum tibi quceris enorme. 

Terence replies: — "What fenfe have you left? Are you, think you, 
better than me ? Let me fee you, young as you are, compofe what I, 
however old and broken, will compofe. If you be a good tree, fliow us 
fome proofs of your fertility. Although I may be a barren trunk, I 
produce abundance of better fruit than thine." 

Sjtis tibi fenfus ineji ? numquid melior me es ? 
Nunc vet us atque Jenex qua fecero fac adolefcens. 
Si bonus arbor ades, qua fertilitate rcdundas ? 
Cum Jim truncus iners, fruBu meliore redundo. 

* See p. 191 of the present volume 

in Literature and Art. 267 

And lb the dilpute continues, but unfortunately the latter part has been 
iolt with a leaf or two of the manufcript. I will only atld that I think 
the age of this curious piece has been overrated.* 

Hrotfvitha is the earlieil example we have of mediaeval writers in this 
particular clafs of literature. We find no other until the twelfth century, 
when two writers flourilhed named Vital of Blois {Fitatis Blcjenfis) and 
Matthew of Venddme {Matthceus Vindocini'iifis) , the authors of feveral of 
the mediaeval poems dillinguilhed by the title of cumocdicB, which give us 
a clearer and more diltintft idea of what was meant by the word. They are 
written in Latin Elegiac verfe, a form of compolition which was very popular 
among the mediaeval Icholars. and conlift of ftories told in dialogue. Hence 
Profellbr Ofann, of Gielfen, who edited two of thofe of Vital of Blois, gives 
them the title of eclogues {eclogce). The name comedy is, however, given 
to them in manufcripts, and it may perhaps admit of the following expla- 
nation. Tliefe pieces feem to have been firft mere abridgments of the 
plots of the Roman comedies, efpecially thofe of Plautus, and the authors 
appear to have taken the Latin title of the original as applied to 
the plot, in the fenfe of a narrative, and not to its dramatic form. Of 
the two " comedies " by Vital of Blois, one is entitled " Geta," and is taken 
from the "Amphytrio" of Plautus, and the other, which in the manu- 
fcripts bears the title of " Queruius," reprefents the " Aulularia " of the 
fame writer. Independent of the form of compofition, the fcholaftic 
writer has given a llrangely mediaeval turn to the incidents of the clallic 
rtory of Jupiter and Alcmena. Another fimilar " coinedy," that of Babio, 
which I firll printed from the manufcripts, is ftill more mediaeval in 
charatter. Its plot, perhaps taken from a fabliau, for the mediaeval 
writers rarely invented ftories, is as follows, although it muft be confelfed 
that it comes out rather obfcurely in the dialogue itlelf. Babio, the hero 
of the piece, is a prieft, who, as was ttill common at that lime (the 

* This Ningular composition was publislied with notes by M. tic Montalfjlon, in a 
Parisian journal entitled, " L' Amateur dc Livres,'* in 1849, under tiic title oi 
" Fragment d'un Dialogue Latin du ix' siiidc cntrc Terence ct un Bouffon." A 
fe^ separate copies were printed, o\ whiili I possess one. 

268 Hijlory of Caricature and Grofefque 

twelfth century), has a wife, or, as the ftrifit religionifts would then fay, a 
concubine, named Pecula. She has a daughter named Viola, with whom 
Babio is in love, and he purfiaes his defign upon her, of courfe unknown 
to his wife. Babio has alfo a man-fervant named Fodius, who is ensfaeed 
in a fecret intrigue with his miftrefs, Pecula, and alfo feeks to feduce her 
daughter, Viola. To crown the whole, the lord of the manor, a knight 
named Croceus, is alfo in love with Viola, though with more honourable 
defigns. Here is furely intrigue enough and a fufficient abfence of morality 
to fatisfy a modern French novelift of the firfi: water. At the opening of 
the piece, amid fome by-play between the four individuals who form 
the houfehold of Babio, it is fuddenly announced that Croceus is on his 
way to vifit him, and a feafl is haftily prepared for his reception. It ends 
in the knight carrying away Viola by force. Babio, after a little vain 
blufter, confoles himfelf for the lofs of the damfel with refleftions on the 
virtue of his wife, Pecula, and the faithfulnefs of his man, Fodius, when, 
at this moment. Fame carries to his ear reports which excite his fufpicions 
againfi: them. He adopts a flratagem very frequently introduced in the 
mediaeval ftories, furprifes the two lovers under circumftances which leave 
no room for doubting their guilt, and then forgives them, enters a monaf- 
tery, and leaves them to themfelves. In form, thefe "comedies" are 
little more than fcholaflic exercifesj but, at a later period, we lliall fee 
the fame ftories adopted as the fubje6ts of farces,* 

Already, however, by the fide of thefe dramatic poems, a real drama 
— the drama of the middle ages — was gradually developing itfelf. As 
ftated before, it arofe, like the drama of the Greeks, out of the religious 
ceremonies. We know nothing of the exiftence of anything approaching 
to dramatic forms which may have exifted among the religious rites of 

* To judge by the number of copies found in manuscripts, especially of the 
"Geta," these dramatic poems must have enjoyed considerable popularity. The 
" Geta " and the " Querulus " were published in a volume entitled, " Vitalis Ble- 
sensis Amphitryon et Aulularia Eciogas. Edidit Fridericus Osannus, Professor 
Gisensis," 8vo., Darmstadt, 1836. The " Geta " and the " Babio " are included 
in my " Early Mysteries, and other Latin Poems of the Twelfth and Thirteenth 

in Literature and Art. 269 

the peoples of the Teutonic race before their converlion lo ChrilUanity, 
but tne Chrillian clergy felt the neceliity of keeping up feltive religious 
ceremonies in fome form or other, and alfo of imprclling upon people's 
imagination and memory by means of rude fcenical reprefentations fome 
of the broader fads of IcriptBral and ecclefiallical hiftory. Thefe per- 
(briuances at hrll conlilled probably in mere dumb Ihow, or at the moft 
the performers may have chanted the I'criptural account of the tranfattion 
they were reprefenting. In this manner the choral boys, or the younger 
clergy, would, on fome fpecial faint's day, perform fome ilriking aiit in 
the life of the faint coinmeraorated, or, on particular felhvals of the 
church, thofe incidents of gofpel hillory to which the feilival efpecially 
related. By degrees, a rather more impoling charafter was given to thefe 
performances by the addition of a continuous dialogue, which, however, 
was written in Latin verfe, and was no doubt chanted. This incipient 
drama in Latin, as far as we know it, belongs to the twelfth century, and 
is reprefented by a tolerably large number of examples Itill preferved in 
mediaeval manufcripts. Some of the earlieft of thefe have for their author 
a pupil of the celebrated Abelard, named Hilarius, who lived in the firll 
half of the twelfth century, and is underllood to have been by birth 
an Englilhman. Hilarius appears before us as a playful Latin poet, 
and among a number of fhort pieces, which may be almolt called 
lyric, he has left us three of thefe religious plays. The fubjetl: of the 
firft of thele is the raifing of Lazarus from the dead, the chief peculiarity 
of which confifts of the fongs of lamentation placed in the mouths of 
the two fillers of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The fecond reprefents 
one of the miracles attributed to St. Nicholas 3 and the third, the 
hiftory of Daniel. The latter is longer and more elaborate than the 
others, and at its conclufion, the ftage direction tells us that, if it were 
performed at matins, Darius, king of the Medes and Perlians, was to 
cliant Tt Deum Laudamus, but if it were at vefpers, the great king was 
lo chant Magnificat anima mca Dominnm:'' 

• " lliiurii Versus ct Ludi," 8vo., Paris, 1835. Edited by M. ChampoUion 

270 Hljlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

That this mediaeval drama was not derived from that of the Roman 
is evident from the circumftance that entirely new terms were appUed to 
it. The weftern people in the middle ages had no words exadly equi- 
valent with the Latin comcedia, tragcedla, theatrurn, &c. ; and even the 
Latinifts, to delignate the dramatic pieces performed at the church 
feftivals, employed .the word ludus, a play. The French called them by 
a word having exa6tly the fame rcveamng,jeu {from jocus). Similarly in 
Englidi they were termed plays. The Anglo-Saxon glolfaries prefent as 
the reprefentative of the Latin theatrurn, the compounded words plege- 
stow, or plcg-stow, a play-place, and pleg-hus, a play-houfe. It is curious 
that we Englillimen have preferved to the prefent time the Anglo-Saxon 
words in play, player, and play-houfe. Another Anglo-Saxon word with 
exaftly the fame lignification, lac, or gelac, play, appears to have been 
more in ufe in the dialed of the Northumbrians, and a Yorklhireman 
ftill calls a play a lahe, and a player a laker. So alfo the Germans called 
a dramatic performance afpil, i.e. a play, the modern ypie/, and a theatre, 
afpil-hus. One of the pieces of Hilarius is thus entitled " Ludus fuper 
iconia fanfti Nicolai," and the French jeu and the Englilh play are 
conftantly uled in the fime fenfe. But befides this general term, words 
gradually came into ufe to charafterife different forts of plays. The 
church plays confifted of two defcriptions of fubjefts, they either reprefented 
the miraculous a6ts of certain faints, which had a plain meaning, or 
fome incident taken from the Holy Scriptures, which was fuppofed to 
have a hidden myfterious figniffcation as well as an apparent one, and 
hence the one clafs of fubjeft was ufually tpoken of fimply as miraculum, a 
miracle, and the other as myfterium, a myftery. Myjleries and miracle- 
plays are flill the names ufually given to the old religious plays by writers 
on the hiftory of the ftage. 

We have a proof that the Latin religious plays, and the feffivities in 
which they were employed, had become greatly developed in the twelfth 
century, in the notice taken of them in the ecclefiaftical councils of that 
period, for they were difapproved by the ftri6ter church difciplinarians. 
So early as the papacy of Gregory VIIL, the pope urged the clergy to 
"extirpate" from their churches theatrical plays, and other fellive 

/;/ Literature and Art. iji 

praftices which wore not quite in harmony with the lacrecl charader of 
thefe buildings.* Such pertbrmances are forbidden by a council held at 
Treves in I22;.i- ^^'e learn from the annals of the abbey of Corbei, 
publifhed by Leibnitz, that the younger monks at Herelburg performed 
on one occarion a " lacred comedy" {sacram comccdiam) of the felling 
into captivity and the exiritation of Jofeph, \\hich was difapproved by 
the other heads of the order.:^ Such performances are included in a 
proclamation of the bilhop of Worms, in 13 16, againft the various abufes 
which had crept into the feftivities obferved in his diocefe at Eafter and 
St. John's tide.§ Similar prohibitions of the afting of fuch plays in 
churches are met with at fubfequent periods. 

While thefe performances were thus falling under the cenfure of the 
church authorities, they were taken up by the laity, and under their 
management both the plays and the machinery for a£ting them under- 
went confiderable extenfion. The municipal guilds contained in their 
conftitution a confiderable amoimt of religious fpirit. They were great 
benefaftorsof the churches in cities and municipal towns, and had ufually 
fome parts of the facred edifice appropriated to them, and they may, 
perhaps, have taken a part in thefe performances, while they were flill 
confined to the church. Thefe guilds, and fubfequently the municipal 
corporations, took them entirely into their own hands. Certain annual 
religious feflivals, and efpecially the feaft of Corpi/s Chrifti, were flill 
the occafions on which the plays were a6ted, but they were taken 
entirely from the churches, and the performances took place in the open 
ftreets. Each guild had its particular play, and they aded on movable 
llages, which were dragged along tlie ftreets in the proceflion of the 
guild. Thefe ftages appear to have been rather complicated. Thev 

• " Internum ludi fiunt in ecrlcsiis tht'atr.'ilcs,"&c. — Decrct.Gregorii,]\h iii.tit. i. 

f " Item non permittant saccrdotes ludos theatrales fieri in ccclesia et alios ludos 

I " Juniorcs fratrts in HtTcsburg sacram iialnicrc coma-diam dc Joscpho vindilo 
ft ixaltato,qiiod vcro rcli(jui ordinis nostri [)rxlati male iiitLii)rctati sunt." — Leilti., 
&ript. Brunsv., fom. ii. p. 3 1 1. 

-§ The acts of this synod of Worm:, aic printed in Ilarzlicim, torn. iv. p. 258. 

272 Hiflory of Caricature and Grotejque 

were divided into, three floors, that in the middle, which was the principal 
ftage, reprelentiug this world, while the upper divifion reprefented heaven, 
and that at the bottom hell. The mediaeval writers in Latin called this 
machinery a pegma, from the Greek word 7rj;y/xa, a fcafFold ; and they 
alfo applied to it, for a reafon which is not fo eafily feen, unlels the one word 
arofe out of a corruption of the other, that of pagina, and from a further 
corruption of thefe came into the French and Englilh languages the word 
pageant, which originally fignified one of thefe movable ftages, though 
it has fince received fecondary meanings which have a much wider appli- 
cation. Each guild in a town had its pageant and its own aftors, who 
performed in malks and coftumes, and each had one of a feries of plays, 
which were performed at places where they halted in the proceffion. 
The fubje£ls of thefe plays were taken from Scripture, and they ufually 
formed a regular feries of the principal hiftories of the Old and New 
Teftaments. For this reafon they were generally termed wyfteries, a 
title already explained 3 and among the few feries of thefe plays ftill 
preferved, we have the "Coventry Myfteries," which were performed by 
the guilds of that town, the " Chefter Myfteries," belonging to the guilds 
in the city of Chefter, and the " Towneley Myfteries," fo called from the 
name of the pofleffor of the manufcript, but which probably belonged to 
the guilds of Wakefield in Yorklhire. 

During thefe changes in the method of performance, the plays them- 
felves had alfo been confiderably modified. The fimple Latin phrafes, 
even when in rhyme, which formed the dialogue of the earlier ludi — as 
in the four miracles of St. Nicholas, and the fix Latin myfteries taken 
from the New Teftament, printed in ray volume of " Early Myfteries 
and other Latin Poems " — muft have been very uninterefting to the mafs 
of the fpedators, and an attempt was made to enliven them by intro- 
ducing among the Latin phrafes popular proverbs, or even fometimes a 
long in the vulgar tongue. Thus in the play of " Lazarus " by Hilarius, 
the Latin of the lamentations of his two fifters is intermixed with French 
ve'-fes. Such is the cafe alfo with the play of " St. Nicholas " by the fame 
writer, as well as with the curious myftery of the Foolifli Virgins, printed 
in my "Early Myfteries" juft alluded to, in which latter the Latin is 

in Literature and Art. 2.73 

intermingled with Provenqal verfe. A much greater advance was maae 
when thele pertbrmances were transferred to the guilds. The Latin was 
then difcarded altogether, and the whole play was written in French, or 
Englilh, or German, as the cafe might be, the plot was nKule more 
elaborate, and the dialogue greatly extetaded. But now that the whole 
inttitution had become fecularifed, the want of fomething to amufe 
people — to make them laugh, as people liked to laugh in the middle 
ages — was felt more than ever, and this want was fupplied by the intro- 
duCiion of droll and ludicrous fcenes, which are often very ihghtly, if at 
all, conne6ted with the fubjett of the play. In one of the earliell of the 
French plays, that of" St. Nicholas," by Jean Bodel, the charaders who 
form the barlefque fcene are a party of gamblers in a tavern. In others, 
robbers, or peafants, or beggars form the comic fcene, or vulgar women, 
or any perfonages who could be introduced afting vulgarly and ufing coarfe 
language, for thefe were great incitements to mirth among the populace. 
In the Englilh plays now remaining, thefe fcenes are, on the wlujle, 
lefs frequent, and they are ufually more clofely conneded with the 
general fubjed. The earlieft Englilh coUedion that has been publilhed is 
that known as the "Towneley Myl^eries," the manufcript of which belongs 
to the fifteenth century, and the plays themfelves may have been compofed 
in the latter part of the fourteenth. It contains thirty-two plays, begin- 
ning with the Creation, and ending with the Afcenfion and the Day of 
Judgment, with two fupplementary plays, the " Raihng of Lazarus " and 
the " Hanging of Judas." The play of " Cain and Abel " is throughout a 
vulgar dn;llery, in which Cain, who exhibits the charatter of a blullering 
ruth in, is accompanied by a garcio, or lad, who is the very type of a 
vulgar and infolent horfe-boy, and the converfation of thefe two worthies 
reminds us a little of that between the clown and his mailer in tin- ()|)l-ii- 
air performances of the old wandering mountebanks. Even tlu- ikath of 
Abel by the hand of his brother is performed in a manner calculated to 
provoke great laughter. In the old mirthful fpirit, to hear two perft)ns load 
each other with vulgar abufe, was as good as feeing them grin through a 
horfe-collar, if not better. Hence the droll fcene in the play of" Noah " 
is J domcftic (juarrcl between Noah and his wife, who was proverbially 


274 Hijiory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

a Ihrew, and here gives a tolerable example of abufive language, as it 
might then come from a woman's tongue. The quarrel arifes out of her 
obftinate refufal to go into the ark. In the New Teflament feriesthe play 
of " The Shepherds" was one of thofe moft fufceptible of this fort of em- 
belliftiment. There are two plays of the Shepherds in the '* Towneley 
Mylteries," the firft of which is amufing enough, as it reprefents, in clever 
burlefque, the afts and converfation of a party of mediaeval fhepherds 
guarding their flocks at night; but the fecond play of the Shepherds 
is a much more remarkable example of a comic drama. The iliepherds 
are introduced at the opening of the piece converfing very fatirically on 
the corruptions of the time, and complaining how the people were 
impoverifhed by over-taxation, to fupport the pride and vanity of the 
ariflocracy. After a good deal of very amufing talk, the fliepherds, who, 
as ufual, are three in number, agree to fing a fong, and it is this fong, it 
appears, which brings to them a fourth, named Mak, who proves to be a 
ftieep-ftealer ; and, in fa6l, no fooner have the fliepherds refigned them- 
felves to fleep for the night, than Mak choofes one of the beft flieep in 
their flocks, and carries it home to his hut. Knowing that he will be 
fufpefted of the theft, and that he will foon be purfued, he is anxious to 
conceal the plunder, and is only helped out of his difficulty by his wife, 
who fuggefts that the carcafe Ihall be laid at the bottom of her cradle, 
and that flie fliall lie upon it and groan, pretending to be in labour. 
Meanwhile the fliepherds awake, difcover the lofs of a flieep, and perceiv- 
ing that Mak has difappeared alfo, they naturally fufped him to be the 
depredator, and purfue him. They find everything very cunningly pre- 
pared in the cottage to deceive them, but, after a large amount of round- 
about inquiry and refearch, and much drollery, they difcover that the boy 
of which Mak's wife pretends to have been juft delivered, is nothing elfe 
but the fheep which had been ftolen from their flocks. The wife ftill 
aflerts that it is her child, and Mak fets up as his defence that the baby 
had been "forfpoken," or enchanted, by an elf at midnight, and that it 
had thus been changed into the appearance of a flieep ; but the fliepherds 
refufe to be fatisfied with this explanation. The whole of this little 
comedy is carried out with great Ikill, and with infinite drollery. The 

in Literature and Art. 275 

fliepherds, while llill wrangling with Mak and his wife, are I'eized with 
drowlinefs, and lie down to lleep ; but they are aroufed by the voice ot 
the angel, who proclaims the birth of the Saviour. The next play in 
which the drollery is introduced, is that of " Herod and the Slaughter of 
the Innocents." Herod's blufter and bomball, and the vulgar abufe 
which palVes between the Hebrew mothers and the foldiers who are 
murdering their children, are wonderfully laughable. The plays which 
represented the arrert, trial, and execution of Jefus, are all full of drollery, 
for the grotefque chara6ter which had been given to the demons in the 
earlier middle ages, appears to have been transferred to the executioners 
or, as they were called, the " tormentors," and the language and manner 
in which they executed their duties, muft have kept the audience in a 
continual roar of laughter. In the play of " Doomfday," the fiends 
retained their old charader, and the manner in which they joke over the 
diftrefs of the finful fouls, and the details they give of their linfulnefs, are 
equally mirth-provoking. The "Coventry Myfteries " are alfo printed 
from 3 manufcript of the middle of the fifteenth csntury, and are, 
perhaps, as old as the " Towneley Myfteries." They confift of forty-two 
plays, but they contain, on the whole, fewer droll fcenes than thofe of 
the Towneley coUedtion. But a very remarkable example is furniflied in 
the play of the "Trial of Jofeph and Mary," which is a very grotefque 
picture of the proceedings in a mediaeval confiftory court. The fompnour, 
a chara6ler fo well known by Chaucer's pitture of him, opens the piece 
by reading from his book a long lift of oftenders againft chaftity. At its 
conclufion, two "detractors " make their appearance, who repeat various 
fcandalous llories againft the Virgin Mary and her hufband Joliph, which 
are overheard by fome of the high officers of the court, and Mary and 
Jofeph are formally accufed and placed upon their trial. Tiie trial itfelf 
is a fcene of low ribaldry, which can only have afforded amulement to a 
very vulgar audience. There is a certain amount of the fame kind of 
indelicate drollery in the play of " The Woman taken in Adultery," in 
this colledion. The " Chefter Myfferies " are ftill more fparing of huh 
fcenes, but they are printed from manufcripts written after the Reforma- 
tion, which had, perhaps, gone through the ^jrocefs of expurgation, in 

276 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotejque 

which fuch excrefcences had been lopped off. However, in the play of 
" Noah's Flood," we have the old quarrel between Noah and his wife, 
which is carried fo far that the latter adually beats her hutband in the 
prefence of the audience. There is a little drollery in the play of " The 
Shepherds," a confiderable amount of what may be called " Billingfgate " 
language in the play of the " Slaughter of the Innocents," but lefs than the 
uiual amount of infolence in the tormentors and demons.* It is probable, 
however, that thefe droll fcenes were not always confidered an integral 
part of the play in which they were introduced, but that they were kept as 
feparate fubje£ts, to be introduced at will, and nor always in the fame play, 
and therefore that they were not copied with the play in the manufcripts. 
In the Coventry play of " Noah's Flood," when Noah has received 
the direftions from an angel for the building of the ark, he leaves the 
ftage to proceed to this important work. On his departure, Lamech 
comes forward, blind and led by a youth, who direfts his hand to fhoot at 
a beaft concealed in a bufli. Lamech flioots, and kills Cain, upon which, 
in his anger, he beats the youth to death, and laments the misfortune into 
which the latter has led him. This was the legendary explanation of the 

paffage in the fourth chapter of Genehs : "And Lamech faid 

I have flain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt ,: if 
Cain fhall be avenged feven-fold, truly Lamech feventy and feven-fold." 
It is evident that this is a piece of fcriptural ftory which has nothing to 
do with Noah's flood, and accordingly, in the Coventry play, we are told 
in the ftage diredtions, that it was introduced in the place of the "inter- 
lude," t as if there were a place in the machinery of the pageant where 

* The editions of the three principal collections of English mysteries are— 

1. " TheTowneley Mysteries,'" 8vo., London, 1836, published hytheSurtees Society. 

2. " Ludus Coventrise : a Collection of Mysteries, formerly represented at Coventry 
on the Feast of Corpus Christ!," edited by James Orchard Halliwell, Esq., 8vo., 
London, 1 841, published by the Shakespeare Society; 3. "The Chester Plays: a 
Collection of Mysteries founded upon Scriptural Subjects, and formerly represented 
by the Trades of Chester at Whitsuntide," edited by Thomas Wright, Esq., 
2 vols. 8vo., London, 1843 and 1847, published by the Sliakespeare Society. 

t "Hie transit Noe cum familia sua pro navi,quo exeunte, locum inierJudii 'uhintret 
statim Lameth, conductus ab adolescente, et dicens," &c. 

/// Literature and Art. 


the epilude, which was not an integral part of the fiibjed, was performed, 
and tliat this part of the performance was called an interlude, or play 
introduced in the interval of the adion of the main fubjeft. The word 
Interlude remamed long in our language as applied to fuch lliort and 
fniiple dramatic pieces as we may fuppofe to have formed the drolleries of 
the mylleries. But they had another name in France which has had a 
greater and more lulling celebrity. In one of the early French miracle- 
plays, that of" St. Fiacre," an interlude of this kind is introduced, con- 
taining five perfonages — a brigand or robber, a peafant, a fergeant, and the 
wives of the two latter. The brigand, meeting the peafant on the highway, 
alks the way to St. Omer, and receives a clownlfh anfwer, which is followed 
by one equally rude on a fecond queftion. The brigand, in revenge, deals 
the peafant's capon, but the fergeant comes up at this moment and, 
attempting to arreft the thief, receives a blow from the latter which is 
fuppofed to break his right arm. The brigand thus efcapes, and the peafant 
and the fergeant quit the fcene, which is immediately occupied by their 
wives. The fergeant's wife is informed by the other of the injury 
I'ullained by her hulband, and Ihe exults over it becaufe it will deprive him 
of the power of beating her. They then proceed to a tavern, call for 
wine, and make merry, the converfation turning upon the faults of their 
refpettive hufbands, who are not fpared. In the midfl of their enjoy- 
ments, the two hufbands return, and fhow, by beating their wives, that 
liiey are not very greatly difabled. In the manufcript of the miracle-play 
A" St. Fiacre," in which this amufing epifode is introduced, a marginal 
^age direction is exprelfed in the following words, " cy tji interpofe iiiie 
 rj/i-" (here a farce is introduced). This is one of the earliefl inflancesof 
the application of the term farce to thefe fliort dramatic facetiae. Dililivnt 
opinions have been exprefled as to the origin of the word, but it feems 
mofi probable that it is derived from an old French verh, J'ajcer, to jefl, to 
make merry, whence the modern word farceur fur a joker, and that it 
thuj. means merely a drollery or merriment. 

I liave juft fuggefted as a reafon for the abfence of thefe interludes, or 
larces, in the myllerieg as they are found in the manufcripts, that they 
were probably not looked upon as parts of the myfUries thcmfelves, but 

278 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

as feparate pieces which might be ufed at pleafure. When we reach a 
certain period in their hiftory, we find that not only was this the cale, but 
that thefe farces were performed feparately and altogether independently 
of the religious plays. It is in France that we find information which 
enables us to trace the gradual revolution in the mediaeval drama. A 
fociety was formed towards the clofe of the fourteenth century under 
the title of Confreres de la PaJJion, who, in 1398, eftablilhed a regular 
theatre at St. Maur-des-FofTes, and fubfequently obtained from Charles VI. 
a privilege to tranfport thoir theatre into Paris, and to perform in it 
mylleries and miracle-plays. They now rented of the monks of Hermieres 
a hall in the hofpital of the Trinity, outfide of the Porte St. Denis, per- 
forming there regularly on Sundays and faints' days, and probably making 
a good thing of it, for, during a long period, they enjoyed great popu- 
larity. Gradually, however, this popularity was fo much diminillied, that 
the confreres were obliged to have recourfe to expedients for reviving it. 
Meanwhile other fimilar focieties had arifen into importance. The clerks 
of the Bazoche, or lawyers' clerks of the Palais de Juftice, had thus affociated 
together, it is faid, as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century, 
and they diftinguiftied themfelves by compofing and performing farces, for 
which they appear to have obtained a privilege. Towards the clofe of 
the fourteenth century, there arofe in Paris another fociety, which took 
the name of Enfans fans fouci, or Carelefs Boys, who ele6ted a prefident 
or chief with the title of Prince des Sots, or King of the Fools, and who 
compofed a fort of dramatic fatires which they called Sottk's. Jealoufies 
foon arofe between thefe two focieties, either becaufe the fotties were 
made fometimes to refemble too clofely the farces, or becaufe each tref- 
paffed too often on the territories of the other. Their differences were 
finally arranged by a compromife, whereby the Bazochians yielded to tlieir 
rivals the privilege of performing farces, and received in return the per- 
mifiion to perform fotties. The Bazochians, too, had invented a new clafs 
of dramaric pieces which they called Moralities, and in which allegorical 
perfonages were introduced. Thus three dramatic focieties continued to 
exift in France through the fifteenth century, and until the middle of the 

in Literature and Art. 279 

Thefe various pieces, under the titles of farces, fotties, moralities, or 
whatever other names might be given to them, had becqme exceedingly 
popular at the beginning of the lixteenth century, and a very conliderable 
number of them were printed, and ra;^ny of them are ftill prefer\-ed, but 
they are books of great rarity, and often unique.* Of thefe the farces form 
the moll numerous clafs. They confill limply of the tales of the older 
jongleurs or ftorv-tellers reprefented in a dramatic form, but they often 
difplay great ikill in conduding the plot, and a conliderable amount of 
wit. The Ilory of the llieep-llealer in the Towneley play of "The Shep- 
herds," is a veritable farce. As in the fabliaux, the moft common fubjeds 
of thefe farces are love intrigues, carried on in a manner which fpeaks 
little for the morality of the age in which they were written. Family 
quarrels frequently form tlic fubje6t of a farce, and the weaknefles and 
vices of women. The priefts, as ufual, are not fpared, but are introduced 
as the feducers of wives and daughters, [n one the wives have found a 
means of re-modelling their hulbands and making them young again, 
which they put in practice with various ludicrous circumftances. Tricks 
of fer\-ants are alfo common fubje6ts for thefe farces. One is the ftory of 
a boy who does not know his own father, and fome of the fubjeds are of 
a flill more trivial character, as that of the boy who fteals a tart from the 
paftrycook's fliop. Two hungry boys, prowling about the ftreets, come to 
the Ihop door jufl as the paflrycook is giving dire6tions for fending an eel- 
pie after him. By an ingenious deception the boys gam poifelfion of the 
pie and eat it, and they are both caught and feverely chaftifed. This is 
the whole plot of the farce. A dull fchoolboy examined by his mafter in 
the prefence of his parents, and the mirth produced by his bkuulers and 

* The most remarkable collection of these early farces, softies, and moralities 
yet known, was found accidentally in 1845, and is now in the British Museum. 
These were all edited in Paris as the first three volumes of a work in ten, entitled 
*' Ancien Theatre Francois, ou Collection des Ouvrages dramati(|ues ks plus 
rcmarquaf)ic dcpuis les Mystercs jusqu'a Corncille, public. . . . par M. Viollet le 
Due," i2mo., Paris, 1854. It is right to state that these three volumes were editnl^ 
not hy M. Viollet Ic Due, hut hy a scholar better known for his learning in the 
*blder French literature, M. Anatole de Montaiglon. 

2 8o Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

their ignorancej formed alfo a favourite fubje6l among thefe farces. One 
or two examples are preferved, and, from a comparifon of them, we might 
be led to fufpefl that Shakefpeare took the idea of the opening fcene in 
the fourth a6t of the " Merry Wivj;s of Windlbr " from one of thefe old 

The fotties and moralities were more imaginative and extravagant 
than the farces, and were filled with allegorical perlbnages. The 
chara6ters introduced in the former have generally fome relation to the 
kingdom of folly. Thus, in one of the fotties, the king of fools (Ic roy des 
fotz) is reprefented as holding his court, and confulting with his courtiers, 
whofe names are Triboulet, Mitouflet, Sottinet, Coquibus, and Guippelin. 
Their converfation, as may be fuppofed, is of a fatirical charafter. 
Another is entitled "The Sottie of the Deceivers," or cheats. Sottie — 
another name for mother Folly — opens the piece with a proclamation 
or addrels to fools of all defcriptions, fummoning them to her prefence. 
Two, named Telle- Verte and Fine-Mine, obey the call, and they are 
queftioned as to their own condition, and their proceedings, but their con- 
verfation is interrupted by the fudden intrufion of another perfonage 
named Everyone (Chafcim), who, on examination, is found to be as 
perfed a fool as any of them. They accordingly fraternife, and join in a 
fong. Finally, another charadler. The Time {le Temps), jams them, and 
they agree to fubmit to his direftions. Accordingly he infl:ru£ts them in 
the arts of flattery and deceiving, and the other fimilar means by which 
men of that time fought to thrive. Another is the Sottie of Foolifli 
Ollentation {defolle bolance). This lady fimilarly opens the fcene with 
an addrefs to all the fools who hold allegiance to her, and three of thefe 
make their appearance. The firft fool is the gentleman, the fecond the 
merchant, the fourth the peafant, and their converfation is a fatire on 
contemporary fociety. The perfonification of abflraft principles is far 
bolder. The three charafters who compofe one of thefe. moralities are 
Everything {tout), Nothing {rien), and Everyone (chafcuji). How the 
perfonification of Nothing was to be reprefented, we are not told. The 
title of another of thefe moralities will be enough to give the reader a 
notion of their general title] it is, " A New Morality of the Children of 

/// Literature and Art. 2 8 1 

Now-a-Days {Mai/i tenant), who are the Scholars of Once-good iJaiien), 
who Ihows them how to phiy at Cards and at Dice, and to entertain 
Luxuf)', whereby one comes to Shame (Honte), and t"ix)m Shame to 
Defpair {D'fefpoir), and from Defpair to the gibbet of Perdition, and then 
turns himl'elf to Good-doing." The charaders in this play are Now-a- 
Days, Once-good, Luxury, Shame, Defpair, Perdition, and Good-doing. 

The three dramatic focieties which produced all thefe farces, fotties, 
and moralities, continued to flourilh in France until the middle of the 
lixteenlh century, at which period a great revolution in dramatic litera- 
ture took place in that country. The performance of the Mylteries had 
been forbidden by authority, and the Bazochians themfelves were fup- 
prelfed. The petty drama reprefented by the farces and fotties went 
rapidly out of falliion, in the great change through which the mind of 
fociety was at this time palling, and in which the tal^e for clallical 
literature overcame all others. The old drama in France had difap- 
peared, and a new one, formed entirely upon an imitation of the clallical 
drama, was beginning to take its place. Ihis incipient drama was repre- 
fented in the fixteenth century by Eiienne Jodel, by Jacques Grevin, 
by Reray Belleau, and efpeciaiiy by Pierre de Larivey, the moll prolific, 
and perhaps the moll talented, of the earlier F'rench regular dramatic 

Thefe French dramatic effays, the farces, the fotties, and the morali- 
ties, were imitated, and fometimes tranilated, in Englill), and many of 
them were printed ; for ilie further our refearcbes are carried into the 
early hillory of printing, the more we are ailoniihed at the extreme 
activity of the prefs, even in its infancy, in multiplying literature of a 
popular character. In Kngland, as in France, the farces had been, at a 
rather early period, detached from the mylleries and miracle-])lays, but 
the word interludes had been adopted here as the general title for tlicm, 
and continued in ufe even after the eflablifliment of the regular drama. 
Perhaps this name owed its popularity to the circumftance that it feemed 
more appnjpriate to its objt-it, when it became fo fafliionable in England 
to a6t thefe plays at intervals in the great fellivals and entertainments 
gifVen at court, or in the houfeholds of the great nobles. At all events. 

282 mjiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

there can be no doubt that this fafblon had a great influence on the fate 
of the Englifh ftage. The cuftom of performing plays in the univerfities, 
great fchools, and inns of court, had alfo the efteft of producing a number 
of very clever dramatic writers j for when this literature was fo warmly 
patronifed by princes and nobles, people of the higheft qualifications 
fought to excel in it. Hence we find from books of houfehold expenfes 
and fimilar records of the period, that there was, during the fixteenth 
century, an immenfe number of fuch plays compiled in England which 
were never printed, and of which, therefore, very few are preferved. 

The earlieft known plays of this defcription in the Englilh language 
belong to the clafs which were called in France moralities. They are 
three in number, and are preferved in a manufcript in the poflelhon of 
Mr. Hudfon Gurney, which I have not feen, but which is faid to be of 
the reign of our king Henry VI. Several words and allufions in them 
feem to me to fhow that they were tranflated, or adapted, from the 
French. They contain exaftly the lame kind of allegorical perfonages. 
The allegory itfelf is a limple one, and eafily underftood. In the firft, 
which is entitled the " Caftle of Perfeverance," the hero is Humanum 
Genus (Mankynd), for the names of the parts are all given in Latin. On 
the birth of this perfonage, a good and a bad angel offer themfelves as 
his proteftors and guides, and he choofes the latter, who introduces him 
to Mujidus (the World), and to his friends, Stultitia (Folly), and Vuluptas 
(Pleafure). Thefe and fome other perfonages bring him under the 
influence of the feven deadly fins, and Humanum Genus takes for his 
bedfellow a lady named Luxuria. At length ConfeJJio and Pcenitentia 
fucceed in reclaiming Humanum Genus, and they conduct him for fecurity 
to the Caftle of Perfeverance, where the feven cardinal virtues attend 
upon him. He is befieged in this caftle by the feven deadly fins, who 
are led to the attack by Belial, but are defeated. Humanum Genus has 
now become aged, and is expofed to the attacks of another affailant. 
This is Avaritia, who enters the Caflle ftealthily by undermining the 
wall, and artfully perfuades Humanum. Genus to leave it. He thus comes 
again under the influence of Mundus, until Mors (Death) arrives, and the 
bad angel carries off the vi6iim to the domains of Satan. This, however. 

/// Literature and Art. 283 

is not the end of tlie piece. God appears, feated on His throne, and 
Mercy, Peace, JulUce, and Truth appear before Him, the two former 
pleading for, and the latter againtl, Humanum Genus, who, after fome 
difcullion, is faved. This allegorical pidure of human life was, in one 
form or other, a favourite fubjett of the moralifers. I may quote as 
examples the interludes of " Lully Juventus," reprnited in Hawkins's 
"Origin of the Englitli Drama," and the " Dilbbedient Child," and 
"Trial of Treafure,'' reprinted by the Percy Society. 

The fecond of the moralities afcribed to the reign of Henry VL, has 
for its principal characters Mind, Will, and Underilanding. Thefe are 
all'diled by Lucifer, who fucceeds in alluring them to vice, and they 
change their modeft raiment for the drefs of gaj' gallants. Various other 
cbaraders are introduced in a (imilar llrain of allegory, until they are 
reclaimed by Wifdom. Mankind is again the principal perfonage of the 
third of thefe moralities, and fome of the other charaders in the play, 
fuch as Nought, New-guife, and Now-a-days, remind us of the fuuilar 
allegorical perfonages in the French moralities defcribed above. 

Thefe interludes bring us into acquaintance with a new comiccharader. 
The great part which folly atted in the focial deftinies of mankind, had 
become an acknowledged faLtj and as the court and almoll every great 
houfehold had its profelfed fool, fo it feems to have been conlidered that 
a play alfo was incomplete without a fool. But, as the charader of the 
fool was ufually given to one of the moll objedionable characters in it, 
fo, for this reafon apparently, the fool in a piny was called the rice. 
Thus, in " Lufty Juventus," the charader of Hypocrify is called the Vice ; 
in the play of "All for Money," it is Sin; in that of " Tom Tykr and 
his Wife," it is Defire; in the "Trial of Trealure " it i-. liulination; 
and in fome inftances the Vice appears to be the denioii liiiulrll. The 
Vice feems always to have been drelfed in the ufual ndlume ol a couit 
fool, and he perhaps had other duties befides his mere pan in tlie plot, 
fuch as making jells of his own, and ufing other means for provoking 
the mirth of the audience in the intervals of the a6tion. 

A few of our early Knglifh interludes were, in the ftrid fenfe of the 
 word, farces Such is the "mery play" of "John the Hiilbaml, Tyb the 

284 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Wife, and Sir Jolan the Prieft," written by John Heywood, the plot 
of which prefents the fame fimphcity as thofe of the farces which were 
fo popular in France. John has a flirew for his wife, and has good caufes 
for fufpeding an undue intimacy between her and the prieft ; but they 
find means to blind his eyes, which is the more eafily done, becaufe he is 
a great coward, except when he is alone. Tyb, the wife, makes a pie, 
and propofes that the prieft ftiall be invited to atM in eating it. The 
hulband is obliged, very unwillingly, to be the bearer of the invitation, 
and is not a little furprifed when the prieft refufes it. He gives as his 
reafon, that he was unwilling to intrude himfelf into company where he 
knew he was difliked, and perfuaded John that he had fallen under the 
wife's difpleafure, becaufe, in private interviews with her, he had laboured 
to induce her to bridle her temper, and treat her hulband with more gentle- 
nefs. John, delighted at the difcovery of the prieft's honefty, infifts on 
his going home with him to feaft upon the pie. There the guilty couple 
contrive to put the hulband to a difagreeable penance, while they eat 
the pie, and treat him otherwife very ignominioully, in confequence of 
which the married couple fight. The prieft interferes, and the fight thus 
becomes general, and is only ended by the departure of Tyb and the 
prieft, leaving the hulband alone. 

The popularity of the moralities in England is, perhaps, to be explained 
by peculiarities in the condition of fociety, and the greater pre-occupation 
of men's minds in our country at that time with the religious and focial 
revolution which was then in progrefs. The Reformers foon faw the ufe 
which might be made of the ftage, and compiled and caufed to be afted 
interludes in which the old do6lrines and ceremonies were turned to 
ridicule, and the new ones were held up in a favourable light. We have 
excellent examples of the fuccefs with which this plan was carried out in 
the plays of the celebrated John Bale. His play of " Kyng Johan," an 
edition of which was publilbed by the Camden Society, is not only a 
remarkable work of a very remarkable man, but it may be confidered as 
the firfl: rude model of the Englilh hiftorical drama. The ftage became 
now a political inftrument in England, almoft as it had been in ancient 
Greece, and it thus became frequently the obje6t of particular as well as 

in Literature and Art. 28; 

general perfecution. In \^^■\^> the vicar of Yoxford, in SutVolk, drew 
upon himfelf the violent holtility of the other clergy iu that county by 
compoling and caufing to be performed plays againll the pope's counfcUors. 
Six years afterwards, in 1 549, a royal proclamation prohibited for a time 
the performance of interludes throughout the kingdom, on the ground 
that they contained " matter tendyng to fedicion and contempnyng of 
funderv good orders and lawes, whereupon are growen daily, and are likely 
to growe, muche difquiet, divifion, tumultes, and uproares in this realme." 
From this time forward we begin to meet with laws for the regulation of 
ftage performances, and proceedings in cafes of fuppofed infradions of 
them, and it became cuftomary to obtain the approval of a play by the 
privy council before it was allowed to be aded. Thus gradually arofe the 
office of a dramatic cenfor. 

With Bale and with John Heywood, the Englilli plays began to 
approach the form of a regulat drama, and the two now rather celebrated 
pieces, " Ralph Roifter DoiUer," and ' Gammer GurtOn's Needle,"' 
which belong to the middle of the fixteenth century, may be confidered 
as comedies rather than as interludes. Tht brmer, written by a well- 
known fcholar of that time, Nicholas Udall, mailer of Eton, is a 
fatirical pidure of fome phafes of London life, and relates the ridiculous 
adventures of a weak-headed and vain-glorious gallant, who believes 
that all the women mull be in love with him, and who is led by a needv 
and defigning parafite named Matthew Merygreeke. Rude as it is as 
a dramatic compofilion, it difplays no lack of talent, and it is full 
of trenuine humour. The humour in "Gammer Gurton's Needle" is 
none the lefs rich becaufe it is of coarfer and rather broader call. The 
good dame of the piece, Gammer Gurton, during an inicrrui>li(.n in the 
proceGi of mending the breeches of her hulband, Hodge, has loll her 
needle, and much lamentation follows a misfortune fo great at a time 
when needles appear to have been rare and valuable articles in the rural 
houfehold. In the midft of their trouble appears Diccon, who is defcribed 
in the dramatis /jcrjnnce as " Diccon the Bedlam," meaning that he was an 
idi«u, and who appears to hold the pofition of Vice m the play. Diccon, 
liowever, though weak-minded, is a cunning fellow, and efpecially givei; 

2 86 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

to making mifchief, and he accufes a neighbour, Dame Chat, of fleahng 
the needle. At the fame time, the fame mifchievous individual tells 
Dame Chat that Gammer Gurton's cock had been flolen in the night from 
the henrooft, and that Ihe, Dame Chat, was accufed of being the thief. 
Amid the general mifunderftanding which refultsfrom Diccon's fucoefsful 
endeavours, they fend for the parfon of the parilh, Dr. Rat, who appears 
to unite in himfelf the three parts of preacher, phylician, and conjurer, in 
order to have advantage of his experience in finding the needle. Diccon 
now contrives a new piece of mifchief. He perfuades Dame Chat that 
Hodge intends to hide himfelf in a certain hole in the premifes, in order, 
that night, to creep out and kill all her hens; and at the fame time he 
informs Dr. Rat, that if he will hide in the fame hole, he will give him 
ocular demonliration of Dame Chat's guilt of ftealing the needle. The 
confequence is that Dame Chat attacks by furprife, and fomewhat 
violently, the fuppofed depredator in the hole, and that Dr. Rat gets a 
broken head. Dame Chat is brought before " Mafler Bayly" for the 
aifault, and the proceedings in the trial bring to light the deceptions 
which have been played upon them all, and Diccon ftands convi6ted as 
the wicked perpetrator. In fa6t, the "bedlam " confelfes it all, and it is 
finally decided by " Mafter Bayly" that there fhall be a general recon- 
ciliation, and that Diccon fliall take a folemn oath on Hodge's breech, 
that he will do his beft to find the loft needle. Diccon has ftill the fpirit 
of mifchief in him, and inftead of laying his hand quietly on Hodge's 
breech, he gives him a fharp blow, which is refponded to by an unexpefted 
fcream. The needle, indeed, which has never quitted the breeches, is 
driven rather deep into the flefliy part of Hodge's body, and the general 
joy at having found it again overruling all other confiderations, they 
all agree to be friends over a jug of " drink." 

We cannot but feel aftonilhed at the (hort period which it required 
to develop rude attempts at dramatic compofition like this into the 
wonderful creations of a Shakefpeare ; and it can only be explained by 
the fa6l that it was an age remarkable for producing men of extraordinary 
genius in every branch of intelledual development. Hitherto, the litera- 
ture of the ftage had reprefented the intelligence of the mafs; it became 

in Literature and Art. 287 

individiialiled in Shakefpeare, and this fatt marks an entirely new era in 
the hiltory of the drama. In the writings of our great bard, nearly all the 
peculiarities of the older national drama are prefen'ed, even fome which may 
be perhaps confidered as its defeds, but carried to a degree of pertedion 
which tS?v had never attained before. The drollery, which, as we have 
feen, could not be difpenfed with even in the religious myfteries and 
miracle-plays, had become fo necellary, that it could not be difpenfed with 
in tra<^cdy. Its omillion belonged to a later period, when the f(jreign 
dramatifts became objefts of imitation in England. But in the earlier 
drama, thefe fcenes of drollery feem frequently to have no connexion 
whatever with the general plot, while Shakelpeare always interweaves 
them Ikilfully with it, and they feem to form an integral and necellary 
part of it. 

288 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 







WE have feen how the popular demonolcgy furnilhed materials for 
the earliefl. exercife of comic art in the middle ages, and how the 
tafte for this particular clafs of grotefque lafted until the clofe of the 
mediaeval period. After the " renailfance " of art and literature, this 
tafte took a ftill more remarkable form, and the fchool of grotefque 
diablerie which flourillied during the fixteenth century, and the firfl: half 
of the feventeenth, juftly claims a chapter to itfelf. 

The birthplace of this demonology, as far as it belongs to Chriftianity, 
mnft probably be fought in the deferts of Egypt. It fpread thence over 
the eaft and the weft, and when it reached our part of the world, it grafted 
itfelf, as I have remarked in a former chapter, on the exifling popular 
fuperftitions of Teutonic paganifm. The playfully burlefque, which held 
fo great a place in thefe fuperftitions, no doubt gave a more comic cha- 
rafter to this Chriftian demonology than it had poflefled before the mix- 
ture. Its primitive reprefentative was the Egyptian monk, St. Anthony, 
who is faid to have been born at a village called Coma, in Upper Egypt, 
in the year 251. His hiftory was written in Greek by St. Athanafius, 
and was tranflated into Latin by the ecclefiaftical hiftorian Evagrius. 
Anthony was evidently a fanatical vifionary, fubje6t to mental illulions, 
which were foftered by his education. To efcape from the temptations 
of the world, he fold all his property, which was confiderable, gave it to 
the poor, and then retired into the defert of the Thebaid, to live a life of 

in Literature and Art. 2 8( 

the ftridtfft afceticilm. The evil one perfecuted hiiu in his loliiude, and 
fought to drive him back into the corruptions of worldly life. He firft 
tried to fill his mind with regretful reminifcences of his former wealth, 
pofition in fociety, and enjoyments ; when this failed, he diilurbod his mind 
with voluptuous images and defires, which the faint relifted with equal 
fuccefs. The perfecutor now changed his tadtics, and prefenting himfelf 
to Anthony in the form of a black and ugly youth, confelfod to him, 
with apparent candour, that he was the fpirit of uncleannefs, and acknow- 
leged that he had been vanquillied by the extraordinary merits of 
Anthony's faniftity. The fiint, however, faw that this was only a 
ftratagem to ftir up in him the fpirit of pride and felf-confidence, and he 
met it by fubjeding himfelf to greater mortifications than ever, which of 
courfe made him ftill more liable to thefe delufions. Now he fought 
greater folitude by taking up his refidence in a ruined Egyptian fepulchre, 
but the farther he withdrew from the world, the more he became the 
objed of diabolical perfecution. Satan broke in upon his privacy with a 
holt of attendants, and during the night beat him to fuch a degree, that 
one morning the attendant who brought him food found him lying 
fenfelels in his cell, and had him carried to the town, where his friends 
were on the point of burying him, believing him to be dead, when he 
fuddenly revived, and infifted on being taken back to his folitary dwelling. 
The legend tells us that the demons appeared to him in the forms of the 
moft ferocious animals, fuch as lions, bulls, wolves, afps, ferpents, fcorpions, 
panthers, and bears, each attacking him in the manner peculiar to its 
fpecies, and with its peculiar voice, thus making together a horrible din. 
Anthony left his tomb to retire farther into the defert, where he made a 
ruined caftle his refidence ; and here he was again frightfully perfecuted 
by the demons, and the noife they made was fo great and horrible that it 
was often heard at a vaft difiance. According to the narrative, Anthony 
reproached the demons in ver)' abufive language, called them h;inl names, 
and even fpat in their faces ; but his moll efie6tive weapon was always 
the cnjfs. Thus the faint became bolder, ami fought a flill more lonely 
abode, and finally efiablifhed himfelf on the top of a high mountain in 
tlfl- iipprr Tiiebaid. TIk; demons ftill continued to perfecute him, under 


290 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

a great variety of forms ; on one occafion their chief appeared to him 
under the form of a man, with the lower members of an afs. 

The demons which tormented St. Anthony became the general type 
for fubfequent creations, in which thefe firft piftures were gradually, and 
in the fequel, greatly improved upon. St. Anthony's perfecutor»'ufual]y 
affumed the Ihapes of bond Jide animals, but thofe of later ftories took 
monftrous and grotefque forms, ftrange mixtures of the parts of ditferent 
animals, and of others which never exifted. Such were feen by 
St. Guthlac, the St. Anthony of the Anglo-Saxons, among the wild 
moraifes of Croyland. One night, which he was paffing at his devotions 
in his cell, they poured in upon him in great numbers j "and they filled 
all the houfe witti their coming, and they poured in on every fide, from 
above and from beneath, and everywhere. They were in countenance 
horrible, and they had great heads, and a long neck, and lean vifage ; 
they were filthy and fqualid in their beards, and they had rough ears, and 
diftorted face, and fierce eyes, and foul mouths ; and their teeth were 
like horfes' tulks, and their throats were filled with flame, and they were 
grating in their voice ; they had crooked fhanks, and knees big and great 
behind, and diftorted toes, and flirieked hoarfely with their voices ; and 
they came with fuch immoderate noifes and immenfe horror, that it 
feemed to him that all between heaven and earth refounded with their 
dreadful cries." On another fimilar occafion, " it happened one night, 
when the holy man Guthlac fell to his prayers, he heard the howling of 
cattle and various wild beafts. Not long after he faw the appearance 
of animals and wild beafts and creeping things coming in to him. Firft 
he faw the vifage of a lion that threatened him with his bloody tuiks, 
alfo the likenefs of a bull, and the vifage of a bear, as when they are 
enraged. Alfo he perceived the appearance of vipers, and a hoo-'s 
grunting, and the howling of wolves, and croaking of ravens, and the 
various whiftlings of birds, that they might, with their fantaftic appear- 
ance, divert the mind of the holy man." 

Such were the fuggeftions on which the mediaeval fculptors and illumi- 
nators worked with fo much eft'eft, as we have feen repeatedly in the courfe 
of our preceding chapters. After the revival of art in weftern blurope 

in Literature and Art. 2 1 

in the tifteenth centurv, this clals of loireiids became great favourites with 
painters and engravers, and foon gave rife to the peculiar fchool of 
(liallerie mentioned above. At that time the ftory of the Temptation of 
St. Anthony attraded particular attention, and it is the fubjeft of many 
remarkable prints belonging to the earlier ages of the art of engraving. 
It employed the pencils of fuch artills as Martin Schongauer, Ifrael van 
Mechen, and Lucas Cranach. Of the latter we have two ditforent 
engravings on the fame fubjetl — St. Anthony carried into the air by the 
demons, who are reprefented in a great variety of grotefque and monrtrous 
forms. The mod remarkable of the two bears the date of 1506, and was, 
therefore, one of Cranach's earlier works. But the great reprefentative 
of this earlier fchool of diallcrie was Peter Breughel, a Flemifh painter 
who flourillied in the middle of the fixteenth century. He was born at 
Breughel, near Breda, and lived fome time at Antwerp, but afterwards 
ellabliihed himfelf at Bruflels. So celebrated was he for the love of the 
grotefque difplayed in his pictures, that he was known by the name of 
Peter the Droll. Breughel's "Temptation of St. Anthony," like one or 
two others of his fubjet^ of the Hime clafs, was engraved in a reduced 
form by J. T. de Bry. Breughel's demons are figures of the mod fantaftic 
dcfcription — creations of a wildly grotefque imagination ; they prcfent 
incongruous and laughable mixtures of parts of living things which have no 
relation whatever to one another. Our cut No. 155 reprefents a group of 
thefe grotefque demons, from a plate by Breughel, engraved in 1565, and 
entitled Divus Jacobus diaholicis prepJligUs ante maguvi JJJUtur (St. James 
is arrefted before the magician by diabolical delu(ions). The engraving 
IS full of fimilarly grotefque figures. On llie right is a fpacious chimney, 
and up it witches, riding on brooms, are making their efcape, while in 
the air are feen other witches riding away upon dragons and a goat. A 
kettle is boiling over the fire, around which a group of monkeys are feen 
fitting and warming themfelves. Behind thefe a cat and a toad are 
holding a very intimate converfation. In the background Ihinds and 
noils the great witches' caldron. On the right of the pidture the viay^tis, 
or matjician, is feated, reading his grimairt; with a frame before him 
l«iI>porling the pot containing his magical ingredients. I'he faint occupies 

292 Hijiory of Caricature and Gratefque 

the middle of the picture, furrounded by thfe demons reprefented in our 
cut and by many others; and as he approaches the magician, he is feen 
raifing his right hand in the attitude of pronouncing a benediftion, the 
apparent confequence of which is a frightful explolion of the magician's 
pot, which ftrikes the demons with evident confternation. Nothing can 
be more bizarre than the horfe's head upon human legs in armour, the 
parody upon a crawling fpider behind it, the IkuU (apparently of a horfe) 

No. 155. St. "James and hh Perjecuton. 

fupported upon naked human legs, the ftrangely excited animal behind 
the latter, and the figure furnilhed with pilgrim's hood and ftaff, which 
appears to be mocking the faint. Another print — a companion to the 
foregoing — reprefents the ftill more complete difcomfiture of the magus. 
The faint here occupies the r'ght-hand fide of the pifture, and is raifing 
his hand higher, with apparently a greater fhow of authority. The 
demons have all turned againft their mailer the magician, whom they are 

/;/ Literature and Art. 


beating and hurling headlong from his chair. They fecm to be pro- 
claiming their joy at his fall by all forts of playful attitudes. It is a fort 
of demon fair. Some of them, to the left of the pidure, are dancing 
and llanding upon their heads on a tight-rope. Near them another is 
playing fome game like that which we now call the thimble-rig. The 
monkeys are dancing to the tune of a great drum. A variety of their 
mountebank tricks are going on in dirt'erent parts of the fcene. Three of 
thefe playful aftors are reprefented in our cut No. 156, 

Breughel alfo executed a feries of fimilarly grotefque engravings, 
reprefenting in this lame fantaflic manner the virtues and vices, fuch as 
Pride {Jupcrbia), Courage (Jortiludo), Sloth {dtfidia), &;c. Thefe bear tne 

No. 156. Strange Demons. 

date of 1558. They are crowded with figures equally grotefque wAi 
thofe juft mentioned, but a great part of which it would be almolt 
imix)fiible to defcribe. I give two examples from the engraving of 
" Sloth," in the accompanying cut (No. 137). 

From making up figures from parts of animals, this early Ichool ot 

grotefque proceeded to create animated figures out of inanimate things, 

fuch as machines, implements of various kinds, houlehold utenhls, and 

-t>«her fuch articles. A German artill, of about the fame lime as Breughel, 

294 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

has left us a Angular feries.of etchings of this defcription, which are 
intended as an allegorical fatire on the folhes of mankind. The allegory 

No. l^J. Imps of Sloth. 

is here of fuch a fingular charafter, that we can only guefs at the meaning 
of thefe ftrange groups through four lines of German verfe which are 

A^o. 158. The Folly of Hunting. 

attached to each of them. In this manner we learn that the group 
reprefented in our cut. No. 158, which is the fecond in this feries, is 

in Literature and Art. 


intended as a fatire upon thofe who wafte their time in hunting, which, 
the verles tell us, they will in the lequel lament bitterly ; and they are 
exhorted to cry loud and continually to God, and to let that ferve them 
in the place of hound and hawk. 

Die zc'tt die du verleurfi mit jagetiy 

Die ivirflu zzvar no(h fchmert^lich klagen } 
Ruff laut %u Gott gar oft und vil. 

Das fey dein hand und Jederfpil. 

The next pifture in the feries, which is equally difHcult to defcribe, 
is aimtd againft thofe who fail in attaining virtue or honour through 
llueo-ilbncfi. Others follow, but I will only give one more example. It 
forms our cut No. 159, and appears, from the verfes accompanying it, to 

i\o. I 59. 7'Ae IVaJIcfulnefi of Youth. 

be aimed againft thofe who pradice waftefulnefs in their youth, and thus 
become obje6tfi of pity and fcorn in old age. Whatever may be the point 
of the allegory c(jntained in the engraving, it is certainly far-fetched, 
and not very apparent. 

This Gernian-Flemifti fchool of grotefque does not appear to have- 
outlived the fixteenth century, or at kaft it had ceafed to flouriOi in the 
century following. But the tafte for the diabltnric of the Temptation 

296 Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefque 

fcenes pafled into France and Italy, in which countries it afTjmed a much 
more refined charafter, though at the fame time one equally grotefque 
and imaginative. Thefe artifts, too, returned to the original legend, and 
gave it forms of their own conception. Daniel Rabel, a French artift, 
who lived at the end of the fixteenth century, publifiied a rather remark- 
able engraving of the " Temptation of St. Anthony," in which the laint 
appears on the right of the pidure, kneeling before a mound on which 
three demons are dancing. On the right hand of the faint ftands a naked 
woman, Iheltering herfelf with a parafol, and tempting the faint with her 
charms. The reil of the piece is filled with demons in a great variety of 
forms and poftures. Another French artift, Nicholas Cochin, has left us 
two "Temptations of St. Anthony," in rather fpirited etching, of the 
earlier part of the feventeenth century. In the firft, the faint is repre- 
fented kneeling before a crucifix, furrounded by demons. The youthful 
and charming temptrefs is here drelfed in the richeft garments, and the 
higheft ftyle of fafiiion, and diiplays all her powers of fedu6tion. The 
body of the pi6ture is, as ufual, occupied by multitudes of diabolical 
figures, in grotefque forms. In Cochin's other pidure of the Temp- 
tation of St. Anthony, the faint is reprefented as a hermit engaged 
in his prayers ; the female figure of voluptuoufnefs {voluptas) occupies 
the middle of the pi6ture, and behind ihe faint is feen a witch with her 

But the artift who excelled in this fubjed at the period at which we 
now arrive, was the celebrated Jacques Callot, who was born at Nancy, 
in Brittany, in i/,93, and died at Florence on the 24th of March, 1635, 
which, according to the old ftylc of calculating, may mean March, 1636. 
Of Callot we fliall have to fpeak in another chapter. He treated the 
fubjeft of the Temptation of St. Anthony in two difterent plates, which 
are confidered as ranking among the moft remarkable of his works, anti 
to which, in fa6t, he appears to have given much thought and attention. 
He is known, indeed, to have worked diligently at it. They refemble 
thofe of the older artifts in the number of diabolical figures introduced 
into the pidure, but they difplay an extraordinary vivid imagination in 
the forms, poftures, phyfiognomies, and even the equipments, of the 

in Literature and Art. 


chimerical figures, all equally droll and burlcfque, but which prefenf an 
entire contrail to the more coarle and vulgar conceptions of the Gernian- 
Flemilh Ichool. This ditierence will be underllood bed by an example. 

No. 1 60. The Demon Tilter (Callot). 

One of Callot s demons is reprefented in our cut No. 160. Many of them 
ate m.our.tcd on nondcfcript animals, of the mofl extraordinary demoniacal 
diara£ter, and fuch is the cafe of the demon in our cut, who is running a 

No. 161. Unetijy Ri'irtg (Cullot). 

tilt at the faint with his tilting fpear in his hand, and, to make more 
lure, his eyes well furnilhed with a pair of fpeftacles. In uur next cut, 
No. 161, we give ;i iLLwaul i vainplc (it the figures in Callot's peculiai 

298 Hiflory of Caricature and Grofefque 

dialhrie. The demon in this cafe is riding very uneafily, and, in fa6t, 
feems in danger of being thrown. The fteeds of both are of an anomalous 
character J the firft is a fort of dragon-horfe ; the fecond a mixture of a 
lobfter, a fpider, and a craw-fifli. Marietta, the art-colle6tor and art- 
writer of the reign of Louis XV. as well as artift, confiders this grotefque, 
or, as he calls it, " fantatlic and comic chara6ter," as almoft neceffary to 
the' pi6tures of the Temptation of St. Anthony, which he treats as 
one of Callot's efpecially yenoM^ fubjefts. " It was allowable," he fays, 
"to Callot, to give a tlight to his imagination. The more his fidions 
were of the nature of dreams, the more they were fitted to what he had 
to exprefs. For the demon intending to torment St. Anthony, it is to be 
fuppofed that he muft have thought of all the forms moft hideous, and 
moft likely to ftrike terror." 

Callot's firft and larger prmt of the Temptation of St Anthony 
IS rare. It is filled with a vafl number of figures. Above is a fantaftic 
being who vomits thoufands of demons. The faint is feen at the entrance 
of a cavern, tormented by fome of thefe. Others are fcattered about 
in different occupations. On one fide, a demoniacal party are drinking 
together, and pledging each other in their glaflfesj here, a devil is playing 
on the guitar ; there, others are occupied in a dance 5 all fuch grotefque 
figures as our two examples would lead the reader to expe6l. In the fecond 
of Callot's "Temptations," which is dated in 1635, and muft therefore 
have been one of his lateft works, the fame figure vomiting the demons 
occupies the upper part of the plate, and the field Is covered with a 
prodigious number of imps, more hideous in their forms, and more varied 
in their extraordinary attitudes, than in the fame artift's firfi: defign. 
Below, a hoft of demons are dragging the faint to a place where new 
torments are prepared for him. Callot's prints of the Temptation of 
St. Anthony gained fo great a reputation, that imitations of them were 
fubfequently publilhed, fome of which fo far approached his ftyle, that 
they were long fuppofed to be genuine. 

Callot, though a Frenchman, ftudied and flourifhed in Italy, and his 
ftyle is founded upon Italian art. The laft gn.'at artift whofe treatment 
of the Temptation I ftiall quote, is Salvator Rofa, an Italian by h\nh. 

/;; Literature and Art. 


who flourilhed in the middle of the feventeenth century. His ftvie, 
according to fome opinions, is refined from that of Callot ; at all events, 
it is bolder in defign. Our. cut No. 162 reprefents St. Anthony protett- 

M). 1 6i. &. Anthony and hii Perjecutor. 

ing himfelf with the crofs againft the alTaults of the demon, as reprefented 
by Salvator Rofa. With this artift the fchool of diablerie of I he (ixteentli 
CL-nturv may be confidertd to have come to its end. 

300 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 






THE art of engraving on copper, although it had made rapid advances 
during the fixteenth century, was ftill very far from perfedion j but 
the clofe of that century witnelfed the birth of a man who was dcftined 
not only to give a new charafter to this art, but alfo to bring in a new 
ftyle of caricature and burlefque. This was the celebrated Jacques Callotj 
a native of Lorraine, and defcended from a noble Burgundian family. 
His father, Jean Callot, held the office of herald of Lorraine. Jacques 
was born in the year 1592,* at Nancy, and appears to have been deftined 
for the church, with a view to which his early education was regulated. 
But the early life of Jacques Callot prefents a romantic epifode in the 
hiftory of art afpirations. While yet hardly more than an infant, he 
feized every opportunity of neglefting more ferious ftudies to pra£tife 
drawing, and he difplayed efpecially a very precocious tafte for fatire, 
for his artiftic talent was Ihown principally in caricaturing all the 
people he knew. His father, and apparently all his relatives, difapproved 
of his love for drawing, and did what they could to difdourage it 5 but in 
vain, for he ftill found means of indulging it. Claude Henriet, the 
painter to the court of Lorraine, gave him leflbns, and his fon, Ifrael 
Henriet, formed for him a boy's friendfhip. He alfo learnt the elements 

* This is the date fixed by Meaiime, in his excellent work on Callot, entitled 
"Recherthes sur la Vie et les Oiivragcs de Jacques Callot," 2 torn. 8vo., i860. 

in Literature and Art. 301 

of the art of engraving of Demange Crocq, the engraver to the duke of 

About this time, the painter Bellange, who had been a pupil of 
Claude Henriet, returned from Italy, and gave young Callot an exciting 
account of the wonders of art to be feen in that country ; and foon after- 
wards Claude Henriet dying, his fon Ifrael went to Rome, and his lettr^rs 
from thence had no lefs effe(5l on the mind of the young artilt at Nancy, 
than the converfation of Bellange. Indeed the pallion of the boy for art 
was fo ftrong, that, finding his parents obftinately oppofed to all his 
longings in this direfiion, he left his father's houfe fecretly, and, in the 
fpring of 1604, when he had only jull: entered his thirteenth year, he fet 
out for Italv on foot, without introdu6tions and almoft without money. 
He was even unacquainted with the road, but after proceeding a fliort 
dillance, he fell in with a band of gipfies, and, as they were going to 
Florence, he joined their company. His life among the gipfies, which 
lalted leven or eight weeks, appears to have furnifhed food to his love of 
burlefque and caricature, and he has handed down to us his imprefhons, 
in a feries of four engravings of fcenes in gipfy life, admirably executed 
at a rather later period of his life, which are full of comic humour. 
When they arrived at Florence, Jacques Callot parted company with the 
gipfies, and was fortunate enough to meet with an officer of the grand 
duke's houlehold, who liftened to his flory, and took fo m.uch interefl in 
him, that he obtained him admillion to the fludio of Remigio Canta 
Gallina. This artifl gave him inflru6fions in drawing and engraving, and 
fought to correft him of his tafle for the grotefque by keeping him 
employed upon ferious fubjefts. 

After ftudying for fome months under Canta Gallina, Jacques Cnllot 
k-ft Florence, and proceeded to Rome, to feek his old friend Ifnul 
Henriet ; but he had hardly arrived, when he was recognifccl in the 
fireets by fome merchants from Nancy, who took him, and in fpite of his 
tears and refiflance, carried him home to his parents. He was now 
kept to his fiudies more f^ri^tly than ever, but nothing could overcome 
his palfujn for art, and, having contrived to lay by fome money, aliir a 
lliort intcnal he again ran away from home. This time he took the road 

302 Hijio'^y of Caricature and Qrotefque 

to Lyons, and croffcd Mont Cenis, and he had reached Turin when he 
met in the llreet of that city his elder brother Jean, who again carried 
him home to Nancy. Nothing could now reprefs young Callot's ardour, 
and foon after this fecond efcapade, he engraved a copy of a portrait of 
Charles III., duke of Lorraine, to which he put his name and the date 
1607, and which, though it difplays little ikill in engraving, excited 
confiderable intereft at the time. His parents were now perfuaded that 
it was ufelefs to thwart any longer his natural inclinations, and they not 
only alldwed him to follow them, but they yielded to his wifh to return 
to Italy. The circumftances of the moment were efpecially favourable. 
Charles IIL, duke of Lorraine, was dead, and his fucceffor, Henry H., 
was preparing to fend an embafly to Rome to announce his acceffion. 
Jean Callot, by his pofition of herald, had fufficient intereft to obtain for 
his fon an appointment in the ambalTador's retinue, and Jacques Callot 
ftarted for Rome on the ift of December, 1608, under more favourable 
aufpices than thofe which had attended his former vifits to Italy. 

Callot reached Rome at the beginning of the year 1609, and now at 
length he joined the friend of his childhood, Ifrael Henriet, and began 
to throw all his energy into his art-labours. It is more than probable 
that he ftudied under Tempefta, with Henriet, who was a pupil of that 
painter, and another Lorrainer, Claude Dervef. After a time, Callot 
began to feel the want of mone}', and obtained employment of a French 
engraver, then refiding in Rome, named Philippe Thomaffin, with whom 
he worked nearly three years, and became perfeft in handling the graver. 
Towards the end of the year 161 1, Callot went to Florence, to place 
himfelf under Julio Parigi, who then flouriihed there as a painter and 
engraver. Tufcany was at this time ruled by its duke Cofmo de' Medicis, 
a great lover of the arts, who took Callot under his patronage, giving him 
the means to advance himfelf. Hitherto his occupation had been prin- 
cipally copying the works of others, but under Parigi he began to pradife 
more in original defign, and his tafte for the grotefque came upon him 
ftronger than ever. Although Parigi blamed it, he could not help 
admiring the talent it betrayed. In 1615, the grand duke gave a great 
encertainment to the prince of Urbino, and Cal'ot was employed to make 

in Literature and Art. 


engravings of the feftivitiesj it was his tirll commencement in a clafs of 
defigns by whicii he afterwards attained great celebrity. In the year 
following, his engagement with Parigi ended, and he became his ow:i 
mailer. He now came out unfettered in his own originiility. The firlt 
fruits were feen in a new kind of dtligns, to which he gave the name ot 
'• Caprices," a feries of which appeared about the year 1617, under the 
title of" Caprici di varie Figure." Callot re-engraved them at Nancy in 
later years, and in the new title they were ftated to have been originally 
engraved in 1616. In a (Tiort preface, he fpeaks of thefe as the tirtl of 
his works on which he fet any value. They now ftrike us as fmgular 

AV. 163. A Cri[)plc. 

examples of the fanciful creations of a moft grotefque imagination, but 
they no doubt preferve many trails of the feftivals, ceremonies, and 
manners of that land of mafquerade, which muft have been then familiar 
to the Florentines ; and thefe engravings would, doubtlefs, be received by 
them with abfolute delight. One is copied in our cut No. 163 ; it 
reprefents a cripple fupporting himfelf on a fliort crutch, with liis right arm 
in a lling. Our cut No. 164 is another example from the fame fit, and 
reprefents a malked clown, with his left hand on the hilt of his dagger, 
or perhaps of a wooden fword. From this time, altliough he was very 
induftrioua and produced much, Callot engraved only his own defigns. 

304 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

While employed for others, Callot had worked chiefly with the graver, 
but now that he was his own mailer, he laid afide that implement, and 
devoted himfelf almoft entirely to etching, in which he attained the 
higheft proficiency. His work is remarkable for the cleannefs and eafe of 
his lines, and for the life and fpirit he gave to his figures. His talent lay 

iVo. 164. A Grotefque Majkcr. 

efpecially in the extraordinary Ikill with which he grouped together 
great numbers of diminutive figures, each of which preferved its proper 
and full adtion and efFe6t. The great annual fair of the Impruneta was 
held with extraordinary feftivities, and attended by an immenfe concourfe 
of people of all claflfes, on St. Luke's Day, the i8th of 06lober, in the 
outlkirts of Florence. Callot engraved a large pidure of this fair, which 
is abfolutely wonderful. The pifture embraces an extenfive fpace of 
ground, which is covered with hundreds of figures, all occupied, fingly or 
in groups, in different manners, converfing, mafquerading, buying and 
felling, playing games, and pertbrming ui various ways; each group or 

i?i Literature and Art. ?Os 

tigure is a pidure in itlelf. This engraving produced quite a fenfation, 
ind it was followed by other pidures of fairs, and, after his tinal return 
to Nancy, Callot engraved it anew. It was this talent for grouping 
large malles of perfjns wJiich caufed the artift to be fo often employed 
in drawing great public ceremonies, lieges, and other warlilce operations. 

By the duke of Florence, Colmo II., Callot was liberally patrouifed 
and loaded with benefits, but on his death the government had to be 
placed in the hands of a regency, and art and literature no longer met 
with the fame encouragement. In this ftate of things, Callot was found 
by Charles of Lorraine, afterwards duke Charles IV., and perfuaded to 
return to his native country. He arrived at Nancy in 1622, and began 
to work there with greater adivity even than he had difplayed before. It 
was not long after this diat he produced his fets of grotefques, the Balli 
(or dancers), the Gobbi (or hunchbacks), and the Beggars. The firli of 
thefe fets, called in the title BalVi, or Cucurucu* confills of twenty-four 
fmall plates, each of them containing two comic chara6ters in grotefque 
attitudes, with groups of fmalier figures in the difiance. Beneath the 
two prominent figures are their names, now unintelligible, but at that 
time no doubt well known on the comic ftagc at Florence. Thus, in 
the couple given in our cut No. 16^, which is taken from the fourth 
plate of the feries, the perfonage to the left is named Smaraolo Cornuto, 
which means fimply Smaraolo the cuckold ; and the one on the right is 
called Ratfa di Boio. In the original the background is occupied by a 
ftreet, full of fpe6lators, looking on at a dance of pantaloons, round one 
who is mounted on ftilts and playing on the tabour. The couple in our cut 

• Mcauine appears to be doubtful of the meaning of this word ; a friend has 
pointed out to nic the correction. It was the title of a songj so called because the 
burden was an imitation of the crowing of a cock, the singer inimickinj; also tlie 
action of the bird. When Bacchus, in Redi's " Bacco in Toscana," is beginning 
to feel the exhilarating effects of his critical investigation of the Tuscan wines, he 
calls upon Ariadne to sing to him"sulla mandola la Cucurucii," "on the nian- 
dola the Cucurucu." A note fully explains the word as wc have staled it — " Can- 
zone co-.i detfa, perch""; in esse si replica molte volte la voce del galloj e cantandol.i 
ti ^nno atti c moti simiii a quegli di csso gallo." 

3o6 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

No. 1 66, reprefents another of Callot's " Caprices," from a fet differing 
from the firft " Caprices," or the Balli. The Gobbi, or hunchbacks, form 

No. 165. Smaraolo Cornuto. — Ratja di Bcio. 

a fet of twenty-one engravings ; and the fet of the Gipfies, already alluded 
to, which was alfo executed at Nancy, was included in four plates, the 

No, 166. A Caprice. 

fubjefts of which were feverally — i, the gipfies travelling ; 2, the avant- 
guard ; 3, the halt 3 and 4, the preparations for the feaft. Nothing could 

in Literature and Art. 


be more truthful, and at the lame time iiiore comic, than this laft fet of 
fubjeds. We give, as an example of the fet of the Baroni, or beggars, 
Callot's figure of one of that particular clafs — for beggars and rogues of 
all kinds were claflified in thofe days — whofe part it was to appeal to 
charity by wounds and fores artificially reprefentcd. In the Englifh flang 

No. 167. The Falje Cripple. 

of the feventeenth centur)', thefe artificial fores were called clymcs, and a 
curious account of the manner in which they were made will be found in 
that fingular pidture of the vicious clafles of fociety in this country at that 
period, the " Englifli Rogue," by Head and Kirkman. The falfe cripple 
in our cut is holding up his leg to make a difplay of his jjretended 

Caliot remained at N'ancy, with merely temporary abfences, during 
the remainder of his life. In 1628, he was employed at Uruficis in 
drawing and engraving the " Siege of Breda," one of the moil finilhed ot 
his works, and he there made the pcrfonal accjuaintance of Vandyck. Early 

308 HiJIory of Caricature and Grotefque 

in 1629, he was called to Paris to execute engravings of the fiege of 
La Rochelle, and of the defence of the Ifle of Rhe, but he returned tu 
Nancy in 1630. Three years afterwards his native country was invaded 
by the armies of Louis XIII., and Nancy furrendered to the French on 
the 25th of September, i.(y2>?>- Callot was required to make engravings 
to celebrate the fall ot his native town 5 but, although he is faid to have 
been threatened with violence, he refufed ; and afterwards he com- 
memorated the evils brought upon his country' by the French invafion in 
thofe two immortal fets of prints, the lefler and greater " Miseres de la 
Guerre." About two years after this, Callot died, in the prime of life, 
on the 24th of March, id'^^. 

The fame of Callot was great among his contemporaries, and his name 
is juftly refpe6ted as one of the moll: illuflrious in the hiftory of French 
art. He had, as might be expefted, many imitators, and the Caprices, 
the Balli, and the Gobbi, became very favourite fubje6ts. Among thefe 
imitators, the moft fuccefsful and the moft diftinguiihed was Stephano 
Delia Bella 3 and, indeed, the only one deferving of particular notice. 
Delia Bella was born at Florence, on the i8th of May, 1610 5* his father, 
dying two years afterwards, left him an orphan, and his mother in great 
poverty. As he grew up, he Ihowed, like Callot himfelf, precocious 
talents in art, and of the fame kind. He eagerly attended all public 
feftivals, games, &c., and on his return from them made them the fubje6t 
of grotefque Iketches. It was remarked of him, efpecially, that he had a 
curious habit of always beginning to draw a human figure from the feet, 
and proceeding upwards to the head. He was flruck at a very early 
period of his purfuit of art by the ftyle of Callot, of which, at firft, he 
was a fervile imitator, but he afterwards abandoned fome of its pecu- 
liarities, and adopted a ftyle which was more his own, though ftill founded 
upon that of Callot. He almoft rivalled Callot in his fuccefs in grouping 
multitudes of figures together, and hence he alfo was much emoloyed in 

* The materials for the history of Delia Bella and his works, will be found in 
a carefully compiled volume, by C. A. Jon/bert, entitled, " Essai d'un Catalogue 
de POeuvre d'Etienne de la Bella." 8vo., Paris, 1772. 

//; Literature and Art. 


producing engravings of fieges, fettive entertainments, and luch elaborate 
fubjeds. As Callot's afpi rations had been direded towards Italy, thole of 
Delia Bella were turned towards France, and when in the latter days of 
the minillry of Cardinal Richelieu, the grand duke of Florence fent 
Alexandro del Nero as his relident aniballador in Paris, Delia Bella was 
permitted to accompany him. Richelieu was occupied in the ficge of 
Arras, and the engraving of that event was the foundation of Delia Bella's 
fame in France, where he remained about ten years, frequently employed 
on fimilar fubjeds. He fubfequently vifited Flanders and Holland, and 
at Amfterdam made the acquaintance of Rembrandt. He returned to 
Florence in 1650, and died there on the 23rd of July, 1664. 

While ftill in Florence, Delia Bella executed four prints of dwarfs 
quite in the grotefque ftyle of Callot. In 1637, on the occafion of the 
marriage of the grand duke Ferdinand II., Delia Bella publillied 
engravings of the different fcenes reprefentcd, or performed, on that 
occafion. Thefe were effeded by very elaborate maciiincry, and were 
reprefented in fix engravings, the fifth 
of which {fcena <pdnta) reprefents 
hell {d' Inferno), and is filled with 
furies, demons, and witches, which 
might have found a place in Callot's 
"Temptation of St. Anthony." 

A fpecimen of thefe is given in our 
cut No. 168 — a naked witch feated 
upon a fkeleton of an animal that 
might have been borrowed from fome ^ 
far diftant geological period. In 
1642, Delia Bella executed a set of 
fmall " Caprices," confiding of thirteen plates, from the eighth of which 
we take our cut No. 169. It reprefents a beggar-woman, carrying one 
child on her back, while another is ftrctched on the j^round. In this 
ciafs of fubjeds Delia Bella imitated Callot, but the copyifi never fiic- 
ceeded in equalling the original. His beft ftyle, as an original artifi of 
burlefijue and caricature, is ftiown in a fet of five plates of Death carrying 

No. 168. Afyilch Mounted. 


Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

away people of difFerent ages, which he executed in 1648. The fourth 
of thisfet is copied in our cut No. 170, and reprefents Death carrying 
off, on his Ihoulder, a young woman, in fpite of her ftruggles to efcape 

from him. 

With the clofc of the feventeenth century thefe "Caprices" and 

No. 169. Beggary. 

mafquerade fcenes began to be no longer in vogue, and caricature and 
burlefque affumed new forms; but Callot and Delia Bella had many 
followers, and their examples had a lafting influence upon art. 

We mutt not forget that a celebrated artift, in another country, at the 
end of the fame century, the well-known Romain de Hooghe, was pro- 
duced from the fchool of Callot, in which he had learnt, not the arts of 
burlefque and caricature, but that of skilfully grouping multitudes of 
figures, efpecially in fubjefts reprefenting epifodes of war, tumults, 
malfacres, and public proceffions. 

Of Romain de Hooghe we fhall have to.fpeak again in a fubfequent 
chapter. In his time the art of engraving had made great advance on the 
Continent, and efpecially in France, where it met with more encourage- 
ment than elfewhere. In England this art had, on the whole, made much 
lefs progrefs, and was in rather a low condition, one branch only excepted, 
that of portraits. Of the two diftinguiftied engravers in England during 
the feventeenth century, Hollar was a Bohemian, and Faithorne, though 

/";/ Literature ami Art. 


an Englifhman, learnt his art in France. We only began to have an 
Englilh fchool when Dutch and French engravers came in with King 
"William to lay the groundwork. 

No. 1*70. Dfath carrying off hh Prey. 

] I 2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grot ej que 






THE fixteenth century, efpecially on the Continent, was a period of that 
fort of violent agitation which is moft favourable to the growth of 
fatire. Society was breaking up, and going through a courfe of decom- 
pofition, and it prefented to the view on every fide fpeftacles which pro- 
voked the mockery, perhaps more than the indignation, of lookers-on. 
Even the clergy had learnt to laugh at themfelves, and almoft at their own 
religion ; and people who thought oi reflefted were gradually feparating 
into two claffes — thofe who caft all religion from them, and rulhed into a 
jeering fcepticifm, and thofe who entered ferioufly and with refolution into 
the work of reformation. The latter found moft encouragement among 
the Teutonic nations, while the fceptical element appears to have had its 
birth in Italy, and even in Rome itfelf, where, among popes and cardinals, 
religion had degenerated into empty forms. 

At fome period towards the clofe of the tifteenth century, a mutilatec' 
ancient ftatue was accidentally dug up in Rome, and it was erefted on a 
pedeftal in a place not far from the Urfini Palace. Oppofite it flood the 
Ihop of a flioemaker, named Pafquillo, or Pafquino, the latter being the form 
moft commonly adopted at a later period. This Pafquillo was notorious 
as a facetious fellow, and his fh >p was ufually crowded by people who 
went there to tell tales and hear news j and, as no other name had been 

in Literature and Art. 3 i -5 

invented tor the ftatue, people agreed to give it the name of the flioemaker, 
and they called it Pafquillo. It became a cuftom, at certain feafons, to 
write on pieces of paper fatirical epigrams, fonnets, and other Ihort com- 
pofuions in Latin or Italian, moftly of a perfonal charadler, in which the 
writer declared whatever he had feen or heard to the difcredit of fomebody, 
and thefe were publiOied by depofiting them with the ftatue, whence 
they were taken and read. One of the Latin epigrams which pleads 
againft committing thefe fliort perfonal fatires to print, calls th« time at 
which it was ufual to Oompofe them Pafquil's feftival : — 

Jam redU Ula dies m qua Romana ju-ventui 

Pafqu'iHl fejium concelcbrab'it cvans. 
Sed verfus Imprejfos ohjecro ut edcre omittas, 

Nt noceant Iterum qua mcuere fcmel. 

The feftival was evidently a favourite one, and well celebrated. " The 
foldiers of Xerxes," fays another epigram, placed in Pafquil's mouth, 
" were not fo plentiful as the paper beftowed upon me ; I ihall foon become 
a bookfellcr " — 

Armigerum Xcrxi non copia tanta papyri 
^anta mihi : Jiam bibllopola Jiatim. 

The name of Pafquil was foon given to the papers which were 
depofited with the ftatue, and eventually a pafquil, or pafquin, was only 
another name for a lampoon or libel. Not far from this ftatue ftood 
another, which was found in the forum of Mars {Mar lis forum), and 
was thence popularly called Marforio. Some of thefe fatirical writings 
were compofed in the form of dialogues between Pafquil and Marforio, 
or of meftliges from one to the other. 

A colle6tion of thefe pafquils was publilhed in 1544 in two fmall 
volumes.* Many of them are extremely clever, and they are fharply pointed. 
The popes are frequent oljjedits of bittereft fatire. Thus we are reminded 
in two lines upon pope Alexander VI. {fexlus),i\\e infamous Borgia, that 
Tarquin had been a Scxtus, and Nero alio, and now another Scxtus was 

Pasquillorum Tom! duo." ElcutluTopoli, MrYi.ijii. 

3 1 4 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

at the head of the Romans, and told that Rome was always ruined under 
a Sextus — 

De Alexandre VI. Pont. 
Sextus Tarquirtius, Sextus Nero, Sextus et ifle : 
Semper fub Sextis perdita Romafuh. 

The following is given for an epitaph on Lucretia Borgia, pope 
Alexander's profligate daughter : — 

Hoc tumulo dorm'it Lucretia nomine, fed re 
Thais, Alexandri flia, fponja, nurus. 

In another of a rather later date, Rome, addreffing herfelf to Pafquil, Is 
made to complain of two fucceflive popes, Clement VII. (Julio de Medicis, 
1^23-1534) and Paul III. (Alexandro Farnefe, 1534- 1549), and alfo of 
Leo X. (1513-1521). "I am," Rome fays, " fick enough with the 
phyfician (Medicus, as a pun on the Medicis), I was alfo the prey of the 
lion {Leo), now, Paul, you tear mv vitals like a wolf. You, Paul, are not 
a god to me, as I thought in my folly, but you are a wolf, fince you tear 
the food from my mouth " — 

Sum Medico fatis cegra,fui quoque prceda Leonis, 

Nunc mea dilaceras -vifcera, Paule, lupus. 
Non es, Paule, mihi numen, ceu ftulta putaham, 

Sed lupus es, quoniam Juhtrahis ore cibtim. 

Another epigram, addreffed to Rome herfelf, involves a pun in Greek 
(in the words Paulos, Paul, and Phaulos, wicked). "Once, Rome," it 
fays, " lords of lords were thy fubjefts, now thou in thy wretchednefs art 
fubjed to the ferfs of ferfs j once you liftened to the oracles of St. Paul, 
but now you perform the abominable commands of the wicked " — 

Sluondam, Roma, tibi fuberant domini dominorum, 

Ser-vorum Jer-vis nunc miferanda fubes ; 
Audifii quondam di-vini oracu/a UauXov, 

At nunc T(i)>' 4>avX<ov jujpi nefanda facis. 

The idea, of courfe, is the contrail: of Rome in her Pagan glory, with 
Rome in her Chriftian debafement, very much the fame as that which 

in Literature and Art. 3 1 5 

ftruck Gibbon, and gave birth to his great hiltory ot' RoniC"s "dechne and 

The pafquils formed a body of fatire which ftruck indifcriniinately at 
everybody within its range, but fatirifts were now rifing who took for 
their fubjeds fpecial cafes of the general diforder. Rotten at the heart, 
fociety prefented an external glollinefs, a mixture of pedantry and affecta- 
tion, which offered fiibjeds enougli for ridicule in whatever point of 
view it was taken. The ecclefiaftical body was in a ftate of fermentation, 
out of which new feelings and new doctrines were about to rile. The 
old learning and literature of the middle ages remained in form after 
their fpirit had palTed away, and they were now contending clumfily 
and unfuccelifuUy againft new learning and literature of a more refined 
and healthier charadter. Feudalifm itfelf had fallen, or it was flruggling 
vainly againft new political principles, yet the ariflocracy clung to feudal 
forms and feudal allumptions, with an exaggeration which was meant 
for an appearance of flrength. Among the literary affe6tations of 
this falfe feudalifm, was the falhion for reading the long, dry, old 
romances of chivalry j while the churchmen and fchoolmen were cor- 
rupting the language in which mediaeval learning had been expreffed, 
into a form the moft barbarous, or introducing words compounded 
from the later into the vernacular tongue. Thefe peculiarities were 
among the firft to provoke literary fatire. Italy, where this clafs of fatire 
originated, gave it its name alfo, though it appears llill to be a matter of 
doubt why it was called macaronic, or in its Italian form maccharouea. 
Some have confidered this name to have been taken from the article of 
food called macaroni, to which the Italians were, and flill are, fo much 
attached} while others pretend that it was derived from an old Italian 
word macarone, which meant a lubberly fellow. Be this, however, as it 
may, what is called macaronic compofition, which confifts in giving a 

* Pavjuil and Pasquin became, during the latter part o\ the sixteenth and the 
whole of the seventeenth centuries, a well-known name In French and Enjjiish 
literature. In En(jli'-h popular literature he was turned into a jistcr, ami a liodk 
was published in 1604 under the title " Pasquil's Jests; with the Merriments of 
Mother Bunch. Wittie, plea»ant, and delightfull." 

3 1 6 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Latin form to words taken from the vulgar tongue, and mixing them 
with words which are purely Latin, was introduced in Italy at the clofe 
of the fifteenth century. 

Four Italian writers in macaronic verfe are known to have lived 
before the year 1500.* The firft of thefe was named Foffa, and he tells 
us that he compofed his poem entitled " Vigonce," on the fecond day of 
May, 1494. It was printed in 1502. Balfano, a native of Mantua, and 
the author of a macaronic which bears no title, was dead in 1499 5 and 
another, a Paduan named Fifi degli Odaffi, was born about the year 1450. 
Giovan Georgio Allione, of Alii, who is believed alfo to have written 
during the laft ten years of the fifteenth century, is a name better known 
through the edition of his French works, publillied by Monfieur J. C. 
Brunet in 1836. All thefe prefent the fame coarfenefs and vulgarity of 
fentiment, and the fame licence in language and defcription, which appear 
to have been taken as neceifary charaderillics of macaronic compofition. 
Odaffi appears to give fupport to the derivation of the name from 
macaroni, by making the principal charader of his poem a fabricator of that 
article in Padua — 

EJl uttus in Padua natus fpeciale cujinus. 

In maccharonea frincepi bonus atquc magijlcr. 

But the great mafter of macaronic poetry was Teofilo Folengo, of 
whofe life we know juft fufficient to give us a notion of the perfonal 
charafter of thefe old literary caricaturifts. Folengo was defcended from 
a noble family, which had its feat at the village of Cipada, near Mantua, 
where he was born on the 8th of November, 1491, and baptifed by the 
name of Girolamo. He purfued his ftudies, firft in the univerfity of 
Ferrara, under the profelTor Vifago Cocaio, and afterwards in that of 
Bologna, under Pietro Pomponiazzo ; or rather, he ought to have purfned 

* The great authority on the history of Macaronic literature is my excellent 
friend Monsieur Octave Delepicrrc, and I will simply refer the reader to his two 
valuable publications, " Macaroneana, ou Melanges de Litterature Macaronique 
des difFerents Pcuples dc TEurope," 8vo., Paris, 1852 ; and " Macaroneana," 4to., 
1863 ; the latter printed for the Philobiblon Club. 

in Literature and Art. 3 1 7 

them, for his love of poetry, and his gaiety of character, led him to 
negled them, and at length his irregularities became fo great, that he 
was obliged to make a haliy flight from Bologna. He was ill received at 
home, and he left it alfo, and appears to have fubfequcntly led a wild life, 
during part of which he adopted the profellion of a foldier, until at length 
he took refuge in a Benedictine convent near Brefcia, in 1507, and 
became a monk. The difcipline of this houfe had become entirely 
relaxed, and the monks appear to have lived very licentioufly j and 
Folcngo, who, on his admilhon to the order, had exchanged his former 
baptifmal name for Teofilo, readily conformed to their example. Even- 
tually he abandoned the convent and the habit, ran away witli a lady 
named Girolama Dedia, and for fome years he led a wandering, and, it 
would feem, very irregular life. Finally, in 1527, he returned to his 
old profelhon of a monk, and remained in it until his death, in the 
December of 1544. He is faid to have been extremely vain of his poetical 
talents, and a rtory is told of him which, even if it were invented, illuf- 
trales well the character which was popularly given to him. It is faid 
that when young, he afpired to excel in Latin poetry, and that he wrote 
an epic which he himfelf believed to he fuperior to the yEneid. When, 
however, he had communicated the work to his friend the bifliop ol 
Mantua, and that prelate, intending to compliment him, told him that 
he had equalled Virgil, he was fo mortified, that he threw the manufcript 
on the fire, and from that time devoted his talents entirely to the 
compofition of macaronic verfe. 

Such was the man who has juftly earned the reputation of being the 
firft of macaronic poets. When he adopted this branch of literature, 
while he was in the univerfuy of Bologna, he alfumed in writing it the 
name of Merlinus Cocaius, or Coccaius, probably from the name of his 
proftflbr at Ferrara. Folengo's printed poems confift of — i. The Zani- 
tonella, a paftoral in feven eclogues, defcribing the love of Tonellus for 
Zanina ; 2, the macaronic romance of Baldus, Folengo's principal and 
mofl remarkable work ; .3, the Mofchsa, or dreadful battle between the 
flies and the ants ; and 4, a book of Epiflles and Epigrams. 
-The firft edition of the Baldus appeared in 1517. It is a fort of 

318 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

parody on the romances of chivalry^ and cotoblnes a jovial latire upon 
everything, which, as has been remarked, fpares neither rehgion flor 
poUtics, fcience nor hterature, popes, kings, clergy, nobility, or people. 
It confifts of twenty-five cantos, or, as they are termed in the original, 
phantafice, fantafies. In the firfl; we are told of the origin of Baldus. 
There was at the court of France a famous knight named Guy, defcended 
from that memorable paladin Renaud of Montauban. The king, who 
fliowed a particular efleem for Guy, had alfo a daughter of furpaffing 
beauty, named Balduine, who had fallen in love with Guy, and he was 
equally amorous of the princefs. In the fequel of a grand tournament, 
at which Guy has diftinguilTied himfelf greatly, he carries off Balduine, 
and the two lovers fly on foot, in the difguife of beggars, reach the 
Alps in fafety, and crofs them into Italy. At Cipada, in the territory 
of Brefcia, they are hofpitably entertained by a generous peafant named 
Berte Panade, with whom the princefs Balduine, who approaches her time 
of confinement, is left ; while her lover goes forth to conquer at leafl a 
marquifate for her. After his departure Ihe gives birth to a fine boy, which 
is named Baldus. Such, as told in the fecond canto, is the origin of 
Folengo's hero, who is deftined to perform marvellous afts of chivalry. 
The peafant Berte Panade has alfo a fon named Zambellus, by a mother 
who had died in childbirth of him. Baldus paffes for the fon of Berte 
alfo, fo that the two are fuppofed to be brothers. Baldus is fucceflively 
led through a feries of extraordinary adventures, fome low and vulgar, 
others more chivalrous, and fome of them exhibiting a wild fertility of 
imagination, which are too long to enable me to take my readers through 
them, until at length he is left by the poet in the country of Falfehood and 
Charlatanifm, which is inhabited by aftrologers, necromancers, and poets. 
Thus is the hero Baldus dragged through a great number of marvellous 
accidents, fome of them vulgar, many of them ridiculous, and fome, 
again, wildly poetical, but all of them prefenting, in one form or other, 
an opportunity for fatire upon fome of the follies, or vices, or corruptions 
of his age. The hybrid language in which the whole is written, gives 
it a Angularly grotefque appearance 5 yet from time to time we have 
paffages which fliow that the author was capable of writing true poetry. 

ifi Literature and Art, 3 1 9 

although it is mixed with a groat amount of coarle and licentious ideas, 
exprelTed no lel5 coarfely and licentioufly. What we may term the fiUh, 
indeed, forms a large proportion of the Italian macaronic poetry. The 
partoral of Zanitonella prefents, as might be expe6ted, more poetic 
beauty than the romance of Balbus. As an example of the language 
of the latter, and indeed of that of the Italian macaronics in general, 
I give a few lines of a defcription of a ftorm at fea, from the twelfth 
canto, with a literal tranflation : — 

'Jam gridor aterias hominum concujjit abyjjos, 
Serttiturque ingcns coriarum jir'idor, et ipfe 
Pen! us habet pavidos fultus, mortijque color es. 
Nunc Slrcchus hahet palmam, nunc Borra Juperchlat j 
Jrrugtt jjdjgus, tangit quoque JluSibus aftra, 
Fulgure Jiitmm'tgero creber lampe%at Olympus ; 
Vela for ata m'lcant crcbris lac cr at a balotlis ; 
Hcrrendam mortem nautis ea cunEla minazzant. 
Nunc Jbal%ata ratis celjum tangebat Olympum, 
Nunc fubit infernam undajbadacchiantepaludem. 


Noiv the clamour of the men Jhook the ethereal abyffcs, 
jind the mighty crashing of the ropes is felt, and the -very 
Sea has pale looks, and the hue cf death. 
Noio the Sirocco has the palm, noiv Eurus exults o-vcr it ; 
The Jea roars, and touches the flars -with its iva-ves, 
Olympus continually blazes out "with faming thunder. 
The pierced fails glitter torn ivith frequent thunderbolts ; 
yill thefe threaten frightful death to the jailors. 
Nvw the [hip toffed up touched the top of Olympus, 
Now, the tva-ve yaivning, ii Jinks into the injernal lake. 

Teofilo Folengo was followed by a number of imitators, of whom it 
will be fufficient to ftate that he {lands in talent as far above his followers 
as above thofe who preceded him. One of thefe minor Italian macaronic 
writers, named Bartolommeo Bolla, of Bergamo, who flourillicd in the 
latter half of the fixteenth century, had the vanity to call himfelf, in the 
title of one of his books, " the Apollo of poets, and the Cocaius of this 
age i" but a modern critic has remarked of him that he is as far removed 

320 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

from his model Folengo, as his native town Bergamo is diftant from 
Siberia. An earher poet, named Guarino Capella, a native of the 
town of Sarfina, in the country of Forli, on the borders of Tufcany, 
approached far nearer in excellence to the prince of macaronic writers. 
His work alfo is a mock romance, the hiftory of " Cabrinus, king of 
Gagamagoga," in fix books or cantos, which was printed at Arimini in 
1526, and is now a book of exceflive rarity. 

The tafl:e for macaronics palTed rather early, like all other fafhions in 
that age, from Italy into France, where it firfl brought into literary repu- 
tation a man who,, if he had not the great talent of Folengo, poffeffed a 
very confiderable amount of wit and gaiety. Antoine de la Sable, who 
Latinifed his name into Antonius de Arena, was born of a highly refpeft- 
able family at Sobers, in the diocefe of Toulon, about the year i5oo> s^d, 
being defl:ined from his youth to follow the profeflion of the law, fl,udied 
under the celebrated jurifconfult Alciatus. He had only arrived at the 
fimple dignity of jiige, at St. Remy, in the diocefe of Aries, when he 
died in the year 1544. In fa£t, he appears to have been no very diligent 
Undent, and we gather from his own confeffions that his youth had been 
rather wild. The volume containing his macaronics, the fecond edition 
of which (as far as the editions are known) was printed in 1529, bears a . 
title which will give fome notion of the charader of its contents, — 
" Provencalis de Iragardi/Jima villa de Soleriis, ad suos compagnones quifunt 
de perfona friantes, bajjas danfas et Iranlas praSiicanies novellas, de guerra 
Romana, Neapolitana, et Genuenji mandat ; una cum ep'iflola adjalotijjimam 
fuam garfam, Janavi Rofceam, pro pajjando tempora " — (i.e. a Proven9al of 
the raoft fwaggering town of Sellers, fends this to his companions, who are 
dainty of their perfons, praftifing baffe dances and new brawls, concern- 
ing the war of Rome, Naples, and Genoa ; with an epiftle to his mol 
merry wench. Jeanne Rofee, for paftime). In the firft of thefe poems 
Arena traces in his burlefque verfe, which is an imitation of Folengo, his 
own adventures and fufferings in the war in Italy which led to the fack of 
Rome, in 1^27, and in the fubfequent expeditions to Naples and Genoa. 
From the picture of the horrors of war, he pafTes very willingly to defcribe 
the joyous manners of the fludents in Proven9al univerfities, of whom bo 

/;/ Literature and Art. 321 

tells us, that they are all tine gallants, and always in love with the prettjf 

Gent'igr.lanttt Junt omnet injludiantes, 

Et bellas garjai femper cmare folert. 

He goes on to defcribe tlie fcholars as great quarrellers, as well as lovers 
of the other lex, and after dwelling on their gaiety and love of the dance, 
he proceeds to treat in the fame burlefque ftyle on the fubjedt of dancing ; 
but I pafs over this to fpeak of Arena's principal piece, the fatirical 
defcription of the invafion of Provence by the emperor Charles V. in 
i^i^f^. This curious poem, which is entitled " Meygra Enterprila Cato- 
loqui imperatoris," and which extends to upwards of two thoufand lines, 
opens with a laudatory addrefs to the king of France, Francois I., and 
with a fneer at the pride of the emperor, who, believing himfelf to be 
the mafter of the whole world, had foolillily thought to take away France 
and the cities of Provence from their rightful monarch. It was Antonio 
de Leyva, the boafter, who had put this projed into the emperor's head, 
and they had already pillaged and ravaged a good part of Provence, and 
were dividing the plunder, when, harafled continually by the peafantry, 
the invaders were brought to a (land by the difficulty of fubfifting in a 
devaftated country, and by the difeafes to which this difficulty gave rife. 
Neverthelefs, the Spaniards and their allies committed terrible devafta- 
tion, which is defcribed by Arena in ftrong language. He commemorates 
the valiant refiftance of his native town of Soliers, which, however, was 
taken and facked, and he loft in it his houfe and property. Aries held 
the imperialilbi at bay, while the French, under the conilable Montmo- 
rency, eftablifhed themfelves firmly at Avignon. At length difeafe gained 
pofleflion of Antonio de Leyva himfelf, and the emperor, who had been 
making an unfuccetful demonftration againft Marfeilles, came to liim in 
bis fickneGi. The hrft lines of the defcription of this interview, will fcrve 
as a fpccimen of the language of the French macaronics : — 

Std de Marjtlla hragganu quando retornat, 

fort mate contentui, quando rcpoljat cum, 
Antinlum Lexiam trobavif Jorte •naladum. 

Cut mori lerribilis trijie cubile fir at. 

322 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Ethica torquet eum per coflas, ct dolor mgens : 

Cum male res -vadk, 'v'l'vere f achat eum. 
Dtxerunt medici, Jperanja eji rutlla Jalutis : 

Ethkus in tejia ■vl-vere pauca poteji. 
Ante Juam mortem voluit parlare per horam 

Imperelatorl, confiliumque dare. 
Scis, Ccefar, jiriEie nojlr'i groppantur amores, 

Namque duas animas corpus utrumque tenet, 
Heu ! fuge Pro-venjam fortem, fuge llttus amarum, 

Fac tibi non noceat gloria tanta modo. 


But when he returns from boajiing Marjeillesy 

Very ill content, that flie had repulj'ed him. 
He found Antonio de Ley-va -very ill. 

For luhom terrible death is preparing a forroivful bed. 
HeSic fever tortures him in the ribs, and great pain ; 

Since things are going ill, he is lueary of life. 
Before his death he ivijhed to f peak an hour 

To the emperor, and to give him counfel. 
" Tou inoio, Cafar, our affeBions are clofely bound together, • 

For either body holds the ttoo fouls, 
Alas ! fy Provence the firong, fly the bitter Jhore, 

Take care that your great glory prove not an injury to you. ''^ 

Thus Leyva goes on to perfuade the emperor to abandon his enterprife, 
and then dies. Arena exults over his death, and over the emperor's 
grief for his lofs, and then proceeds to defcribe the difaftrous retreat of the 
imperial army, and the glory of France in her king. 

Antonius de Arena wrote with vigour and humour, but his verfes are 
tame in comparifon with his model, Folengo. The tafte for macaronic 
verfe never took ftrong root in France, and the few obfcure writers who 
attempted to fhine in that kind of compolition are now forgotten, except 
by the laborious bibliographer. One named Jean Germain, wrote a 
macaronic hiftory of the invafion of Provence by the imperialifts in rivalry 
of Arenas. I will not follow the tafte for this clafs of burlefque compoli- 
tion into Spain or Germany, but merely add that it was not adopted in 
England until the beginning of the feventeenth century, when feveral 
authors employed it at about the fame time. The moft perfe6t example 
of thefe early Englifh macaronics is the " Polemo-Middiana," i.e. battle of 

in Literature a?2d Art. 323 

the dunghill, by the talented and elegant-minded Drummond of Haw- 
thornden. We may take a fingle example of the Englilli macaronic 
from this poem, which will not need an Englilh tranflation. One of the 
female charaders in the dunghill war, calls, among others, to her aid — 

Hunc qui dirtiferas terjlt cum dijhclouty dijhras, 
Hunc qui gruelias fcivit bene Uckere plcttas, 
Et Jaltpannifumos, et iviJebricatos fjhtros, 
Hellaofque etiam Jaltercs duxit ab antris, 
CoalheughciS nigri girnanta more di-velli ; 
Lifeguardamque fibi fcevas -vocat imfroba lajfas, 
Maggyam magis doEiam milkare covteas^ 
Et doElam jucpare jiouras^ et jlernere beddas, 
^utFque no-vit Jpinnare, et longas ducere threddas ; 
Nanjyam, cla-ves bene quie keepa-verat omncs, 
Slyaque lanam cardare jolet greajy-fingria Betty. 

Perhaps before this was written, the eccentric Thomas Coryat had 
publilhed in the volume of his Crudities, printed in 1611, a fliort piece of 
vcrfe, which is perfed in its macaronic ftyle, but in which Italian and 
other foreign words are introduced, as well as Englifh. The celebrated 
comedy of "Ignoramus," compofed by George Ruggle in 1615, may alfo be 
mentioned as containing many excellent examples of Englifli macaronics. 
While Italy was giving birth to macaronic verfe, the fatire upon the 
ignorance and bigotry of the clergy was taking another form in Germany, 
which arofe from fome occurrences which it will be neceffary to relate. 
In the midft of the violent religious agitation at the beginning of the 
fixtecnth century in Germany, there lived a German Jew named Pfefler- 
corn, who embraced Chriftianity, and to fliow his zeal for his new faith, 
he obtained from the emperor an edift ordering the Talmud and all the 
Jewilli writings which were contrary to the Chriflian faith to be burnt. 
There lived at the fame time a fcholar of diflindion, and of more liberal 
views than mod of the fcholallics of his time, named John Reuchlin. 
He was a relative of Melan6thon, and was fecretary to the pallgrave, 
who was tolerant like himfelt. The Jews, as might be expedted, 
were unwilling to give up their books to be burnt, and Reuchlin 
w^jtc in their defence, under the alTumed name of Capnion, which is a 

324 Hiflory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Hebrew tranflation of his own name of Reuchlin, meaning fmoke, and 
urged that it was better to refute the books in queftion than to burn 
them. The converted Pfeffercorn replied in a book entitled " Speculum 
Manuale," in anfwer to which Reuchlin wrote his " Speculum Ocu- 
lare." The controverfy had already provoked much bigoted ill-feeling 
againft Reuchlin. The learned doftors of the univerfity of Cologne 
efpoufed the caufe of Pfeffercorn, and the principal of the univerfity, 
named in Latin Ortuinus Gratius, fupported by the Sorbonne in Paris, 
lent himfelf to be the violent organ of the intolerant party. Hard preffed 
by his bigoted opponents, Reuchlin found good allies, but one of the beft 
of thefe was a brave baron named Ulric von Hutten, of an old and noble 
family, born in 1488 in the caftle of Staeckelberg, in Franconia. He had 
ftudied in the fchools at Fulda, Cologne, and Frankfort on the Oder, and 
diflinguiflied himfelf fo much as a fcholar, that he obtained the degree of 
Mafter of Arts before the ufual age. But Ulric poffefled an adventurous 
and chivalrous fpirit, which led him to embrace the profeflion of a foldier, 
and he ferved in the wars in Italy, where he was dillinguifhed by his 
bravery. He was at Rome in 15 16, and defended Reuchlin againft the 
Dominicans. The fame year appeared the firft edition of that marvellous 
book, the "Epistolae Obfcurorum Virorum," one of the moft remarkable 
fatires that the world has yet feen. It is believed that this book came 
entirely from the pen of Ulric von Hutten 3 and the notion that Reuchlin 
himfelf, or any others of his friends, had a fliare in it appears to be 
without foundation. Ulric was in the following year made poet-laureat. 
Neverthelefs, this book greatly incenfed the monks againft him, and he 
was often threatened with aflaflination. Yet he boldly advocated the caufe 
and embraced the opinions of Luther, and was one of the ftaunch fup- 
porters of Lutheranifm. After a very turbulent life, Ulric von Hutten 
died in the Auguft of the year 1523. 

The " Epiftolae Obfcurorum Virorum," or letters of obfcure men, are 
fuppofed to be addreffed to Ortuinus Gratius, mentioned above, by various 
mdividuals, fome his fcholars, others his friends, but all belonging to the 
bigoted party oppofed to Reuchlin, and they were defigned to throw 
ridicule on the ignorance, bigotry, and immorality of the clergy of the 

in Literature and Art. 325 

Romilli church. The old Icholaftic learning had become debafed into a 
heavy and barbarous fyfteni of theology, literary compofition confifted in 
writing a no lels barbarous Latin, and even the few claHical writers who 
were admitted into the fchools, were explained and commented upon in a 
ftrange half-theological flifliion. Thefe old fcholaftics were bitterly oppofed 
to the new learning, which had taken root in Italy, and was fpreading 
abroad, and they fpoke contemptuoufly of it as " fecular." The letters 
of the obfcure individuals relate chiefly to the difpute between Reuchlin 
and Pfeft'ercorn, to the rivalry between the old fcholarfliip and the new, 
and to the low licentious lives of the theologiftsj and they are written in 
a ftyle of Latin which is intended for a parody on that of the latter, and 
wliich clofely refembles that which we call "dog-Latin."* They are 
full of wit and humour of the moft exquilite defcription, but they too 
often defcend into details, treated in terms which can only be excufed 
by the coarfe and licentious chara£ter of the age. The literary and 
fcientific queftions difculled in thefe letters are often \erf droll. The firft 
in order of the correfpondents of Ortuinus Gratius, who boafls of the 
rather formidable name, Thomas Langfchneiderius, and addreffes matter 
Ortuinus as "poet, orator, philofopher, and theologift, and more if he 
would," propounds to him a difficult queftion : — 

" There was here one day an Aristotelian dinner, and doctors, licenciates, and 
masters too, were very jovial, and I was there too, and we drank at the first courie 
three draughts of Malmsey, . . • and then we had six dishes ot flesh and chickens and 
capons,, and one of fish, and as we passed from one dish to another, we continually 
drunk wine of Kotzhurg and the Rhine, and ale of Embetk, and Thurgen, and 
Ntuburg. And the masters were well satisfied, and said that tiie new masters had 
acquitted themselves well and with great honour. Then the n1a^te^s in their 
hilarity began to talk learnedly on great questions, and one asked whether it were 

* This style differs entirely from the macaronic. It consists merely in using 
the words of the Latin language with the forms and construction of the vulgar 
tongue, as illu<'trated by the directions of the professor who, lecturing in the schools, 
was interrupted by the entrance ol a dog, and shouted out to the doorkeeper, yerte 
canem ex, meaning thereby that he should " turn the dog out." It was perhaps from 
thin, or some similar occurrence, that this barbarous Latin gained the name ot 
dog- Latin. The French call it Latin de cui/me. 

326 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

correct to say magijler nojlrandus, or nojier magtjlrandus, for a person fit to be made doctor 
in theology. . . . And immediately Master Warmsemmel, who is a subtle Scotist, 
and has been master eighteen years, and was in his time twice rejected and thrice 
delayed for the degree of master, and he went on offering Iiimself, until he was pro- 
moted for the honour of the university, . . . spoke, and held that we should say noJler 
magijirandus. . . . Then Master Andreas Delitsch, who is very subtle, and half poet, 
half artist (^i.e. one who professed in the faculty of arts), physician, and jurist; and 
now he reads ordinarily ' Ovid on the Metamorphoses,' and expounds all the 
fables allegorically and literally, and I was his hearer, because he expounds very 
fundamentally, and he aUo reads at home Quintillian and Juvencus, and he held 
the opposite to Master Warmsemmel, and said that we ought to say magijler 
nojlrandus. For as there is a difference between magijler nofter and noJler magijter^ so 
also there is a difference between magijler nojlrandus and noJler magijirandus ; for a doctor 
in theology is called magijler noJler, and it is one word, but noJler magijler are two 
words, and it is taken for any master; and he quoted Horace in support of this. 
Then the masters much admired his subtlety, and one drank to him a cup of Neu- 
burg ale. And he said, ' I will wait, but spare me,' and touched his hat, and 
laughed heartily, and drank to Master Warmsemmel, and said, ' There, master, 
don't think I am an enemy,' and he drank it off at one draught, and Master Warm- 
semmel replied to him with a strong draught. And the masters were all merry till 
the bell rang for Vespers." 

Mafler Ortuin is prefTed for his judgment on this weighty queftion. A 
fimilar fcene defcribed in another letter ends lefs peacefully. The cor- 
refpondent on this occafion Is Magifter Bornharddus Plumilegus, who 
addreffes Ortuinus Gratius as follows : — 

" Wretched is the mouse which has only one hole for a refuge ! So also I may 
say of myself, most venerable sir, for I should be poor if I had only one friend, and 
when that one should fail me, then I should not have another to treat me with kind- 
ness. As is the case now with a certain poet here, who is called George Sibutus, 
and he is one of the secular poets, and reads publicly in poetry, and is in other 
respects a good fellow (bonus Jocius) . But as you know these poets, when they are 
not theologists like you, will always reprehend others, and despise the theologists. 
And once in a drinking party in his house, when we were drinking Thurgen ale, and 
sat until the hour of tierce, and I was moderately drunk, because that ale rose into 
my head, then there was one who was not before friendly with me, and I drank to him 
half a cup, and he accepted it. But afterwards he would not return the compliment. 
And thrice I cautioned him, and he would not reply, but sat in silence and said 
nothing. Then I thought to myself. Behold this man treats thee with contempt, 
and is proud, and always wants to confound you. And I was stirred in my anger, 
and took the cup, and threw it at his head. Then that poet was angry at me, and 
said that I had caused a disturbance in his house, and said I should go out of his 
house in the devil'.; name. Then I replied, ' What matter is it if you are my 

in Literature and Art. 327 

enemy ? I have had as bad enemies as you, and yet I have stood in spite of thcin. 
What matters it if you are a poet? I have other poets who are my friends, and they 
are quite as good as you, ego bene mcrdnrcm in ■vcftram pcetnam ! Do you think I am a 
fool, or that I was born under a tree like apples ?' Then he called me an ass, and 
said that I never saw a poet. And I said, 'You arc an ass in your skin, I have 
seen many more poets than you.'" And I spoke of you. . . . Wherefore I ask you 
very earnestly to write me one piece of verse, and then I will show it to this poet 
and others, and I will boast that you are my friend, and you are a much better 
poet than he." 

The war againfl, the lecular poets, or advocates of the new learning, 
is kept up with fpirit through this ludicrous correfpondence. One corre- 
fpondent prelles Ortuinus Gratius to "write to me whether it be neceflary 
for eternal falvation that fchclars learn grammar from the fecular poets, 
fuch as Virgil, TuUius, Pliny, and others j for," he adds, "it feems to 
me that this is not a good method of ftudying." "As I have often 
written to 3'ou," fays another, " I am grieved that this ribaldry {ijia 
rilaldria), namely, the faculty of poetry, becomes common, and is fpread 
through all provinces and regions. In my time there was only one poet, 
who was called Samuel 5 and now, in this city alone, there are at leaft 
twenty, and they vex us all who hold with the ancients. Lately I 
thoroughly defeated one, who faid that fcholaris does not fignify a perfon 
who goes to the fchool for the purpofe of learning ; and I laid, ' Als I 
will you corre6l the holy dodor who expounded this word ? '" The new 
learning was, of courfe, identified with the fupporters of Reuchlin. "It 
is faid here," continues the fame correfpondent, " that all the poets will 
fide with do6tor Reuchlin againfl tlie theologians, I willi all the poets 
were in the place where pepper grows, that they might let us go in 
peace !" 

Mailer William Lamp, " mailer of arts," fends to Mailer Ortuinus 
Gratius, a narrative of his adventures in a journey from Cologne to Rome. 
Firft he went to Mayence, where his indignation was moved by the open 
manner in which people fpoke in favour of Reuchlin, and when he 
hazarded a contrary opinion, he was only laughed at, but he held his 
tongue, becaufe his opponents all carried arms and looked fierce. " One 
of them is a count, and is a long man, and has white hair; and they fay 
that he takes a man in armour in his hand, and throws him to the ground, 

328 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

and he has a fword as long as a giant j when I law him, then I held my 
tongue." At Worms, he found things no better, for the " dodors " fpoke 
bitterly againft the theologians, and when he attempted to expoftulate, he 
got foul words as well as threats, a learned do6tor in medicine affirming 
" quod merdaret Juper nos omnes." On leaving Worms, Lamp and his 
companion, another theologift, fell in with plunderers who made them pay 
two florins to drink, " and I faid occulta. Drink what may the devil blefs to 
you!" Subfequently they fell into low amours at country inns, which 
are defcribed coarfely, and then they reached Infprucken, where they 
found the emperor, and his court and army, with whole manners and 
proceedings Magifter Lamp became forely difgufted. I pafs over other 
adventures till they reach Mantua, the birthplace of Virgil, and of a late 
mediaeval Latin poet, named from it Baptifta Mantuanus. Lamp, in his 
hoftile fpirit towards the " fecular poets," proceeds, — " And my companion 
faid, ' Here Virgil was born.' I replied, 'What do I care for that pagan ? 
We will go to the Carmelites, and fee Baptifta Mantuanus, who is twice 
as good as Virgil, as I have heard full ten times from Ortuinus 3 ' and I 
told him how you once reprehended Donatus, when he fays, ' Virgil was 
the moft learned of poets, and the beft;' and you faid, ' If Donatus were 
here, I .would tell him to his face that he lies, for Baptifta Mantuanus is 
above Virgil.' And when we came to the monaftery of the Carmelites, 
we were told that Baptifta Mantuanus was dead ; then I faid, ' May he 
reft in peace !'" They continued their journey by Bologna, where they 
found the inquifitor Jacob de Hochftraten, and Florence, to Siena. "After 
this there are fmall towns, and one is called Monte-flafcon, where we 
drunk excellent wine, fuch as I never drank in my life. And I alked the 
hoft what that wine is called, and he replied that it is lachryma Chrifti. 
Then faid my companion, 'I wilh Chrift would cry in our country!' 
And fo we drank a good bout, and two days after we entered Rome." 

In the courfe of thefe letters the theologifts, the poets efpecially, the 
charafter of the clergy, and particularly Reuchlin and PfefTercorn, afford 
continual fubjeds for difpute and pleafantry. The laft mentioned indivi- 
dual, in the opinion ot fome, had merited hanging for theft, and it was 
pretended that the Jews had expelled him from their fociety for his 

Literature and in Art. 329 

wicked courfes. One argued that all Jews flink, and as it was well 

known that Pfeffercorn continued to llink like a Jew, it was quite evident 

that he could not be a good Chriltian. Some of Ortuinus's correfpondcnts 

confult him on difficult theological queftions. Here is an example in a 

letter from one Henricus SchafFmulius, another of his fcholars who had 

made the journey to Rome : — 

" Since, before I journeyed to the Court, you said to me that I am to write 
often to you, and that sometimes I am to send you any theological questions, which 
you will solve for me better than the courtiers of Rome, therefore now I ask your 
mastership what you hold as to the case when any one on a Friday, or any other 
fast day, eats an eg?, and there is a chicken inside. Because the other day we sat 
in a tavern in the Campo-flore, and made a collation, and eat eggs, and I, opening 
an egg, saw that there was a young chicken in it, ^hich I showed to my companion, 
and then he said, ' Eat it quickly before the host sees it, for if he sees it, then you 
will be obliged to give a carlino or a julio for a hen, because it is the custom here 
that, when the host places anything on the table, you must pay for it, for they will 
not take it back. And when he sees there is a young hen in the egg, he will say, 
Pay me for the hen, because he reckons a small one the same as a large one.' And 
I immediately sucked up the egg, and with it the chicken, and afterwards I bethought 
me that it was Friday, and I said to my companion. ' You have caused me to com- 
mit a mortal sin, in eating flesh on Friday.' And he said that it is not a mortal 
sin, nor even a venial sin, because that embryo of a chicken is not reckoned other 
than an egg till it is born ; and he told me that it is as in cheeses, in which there 
are sometimes wornis, and in cherries, and fresh peas and beans, yet they are eaten 
on Fridays, and also in the vigils of the apostles. But the hosts are such rogues, 
that they say that they are flesh, that they may have more money. Then I went 
away, and thought about it. And, per Deum ! Magister Ortuinus, I am much 
troubled, and I know not how I ought to rule myself. If I went to ask advice of a 
courtier [of the papal court], I know that they liave not good consciences. It 
>ccms to me that these young hens in the eggs are Hesh, because the matter is already 
formed and figured in members and bodies of an animal, and it has life ; it is other- 
wise wifh worms in cheeses and other things, because worms are reputed for fislies, 
as 1 have heard from a physician, who is a very good naturalist. Therefore I ask 
you very earnestly, that you will give me your reply on this question. Because if you 
hold that it is a mortal sin, then I will purchase an absolution here, before I return 
to Germany. Also you must know that our master Jacobus dc Hochstratcn has 
obtained a thousand florins from the bank, and I think that with these he will gain 
his cause, and the devil confound thit John Reuchlin, and the other poets and 
jurists, because they will be against the church of God, that is, against tiie thcologists, 
in whom is founded the church, a.s Christ said : Thou art Peter, and upon this 
rock I will build my church. And so I commend you to the Lord God. Fare- 
well. Given from the city of Rome." 

While ill Italy macaronic literatiifc was reaching itsgreateft perfedion. 

330 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

there arofe in the very centre of France a man of great original genius, 
who was foon to aftonifti the world by a new form of fatire, more 
grotefque and more comprehenfive than anything that had been feen 
before. Teofilo Folengo may fairly be conlidered as the precurfor of 
Rabelais, who appears to have taken the Italian fatirift as his model. 
What we know of the life of Frangois Rabelais is rather obfcure at beft, 
and is in fome parts no doubt fabulous. He was born at Chinon in 
Touraine, either in 1483 or in 1487, for this feems to be a difputed point, 
and fome doubt has been thrown on the trade or profeflion of his father, 
but the moft generally received opinion is that he was an apothecary. 
He is faid to have fliown from his youth a difpofition more inclined to 
gaiety than to ferious purfuits, yet at an early age he had made great 
proficiency in learning, and is faid to have acquired a very fufficient 
knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, two of which, at leaft, were 
not popular among the popifli clergy, and not only of the modern lan- 
guages and literature of Italy, Germany, and Spain, but even of Arabic. 
Probably this eftimate of his acquirements in learning is rather exaggerated. 
It is not quite clear where the young Rabelais gained all this knowledge, 
for he is faid to have been educated in convents and among monks, and 
to have become at a rather early age a Francifcan friar in the convent of 
Fontenai-le-Compte, in Lower Poitou, where he became an objeft of 
iealoufy and ill-feeling to the other friars by his fuperior acquirements. 
It was a tradition, at leaft, that the conduft of Rabelais was not very ftriftly 
conventual, and that he had fo far fliown his contempt for monaftic rule, 
and for the bigotry of the Romifh church, that he was condemned to the 
prifon of his monaftery, upon a diet of bread and water, which, according 
to common report, was very uncongenial with the taftes of this joyial 
friar. Out of this difficulty he is faid to have been helped by his friend 
the bifliop of Maillezais, who obtained for him the pope's licence to 
change the order of St. Francis for the much more eafy and liberal order 
of St. Benedift, and he became a member of the bilhop's own chapter in 
the abbey of Maillezais. His unfteady temper, however, was not long 
fatisficd with this retreat, which he left, and, laying afide the regular 
habit, affumed that of a fecular prieft. In this chara6ter he wandered for 

in Literature and Art. 3 3 1 

fome time, and then fettled at Montpellier, where he took a degree as 
dodor in medicine, and pradiled for Tome time with credit. There he 
pubUlhed in 1532 a tranllation of fome works of Hippocrates and Galen, 
which he dedicated to his friend the bilhop of Maillezais. The circum- 
ftances under which he left Montpellier are not known, but he is fup- 
pofed to have gone to Paris upon fome bufinefs of the univerfity, and to 
have remained there. He found there a {launch friend in Jean de 
Bellay, bifliop of Paris, who foon afterwards was raifed to the rank ot 
cardinal. When the cardinal de Bellay went as ambaflador to Rome 
from the court of France, Rabelais accompanied him, it is faid in the 
charafter of his private medical advifer, but during his ftay in the 
metropolis of Chriftendom, as Chriftendom was underllood in thofe days; 
by the Romifli church, Rabelais obtained, on the 17th of January, 1536 
the papal abfolution for all his tranfgrellions, and licence to return to 
Maillezais, and pradife medicine there and elfewhere as an a6l of charity. • 
Thus he became again a Benedi6tine monk. He, however, changed 
again, and became a fecular canon, and finally fettled down as the cure 
of Meudon, near Paris, with which he alfo held a fair number of ecclefi- 
aftical benefices. Rabelais died in 1553, according to fome in a very 
religious manner, but others have given ftrange accounts of his lafl 
moments, reprefenting that, even when dying, he converfed in the fame 
fpirit of mockery, not only of Romifli forms and ceremonies, but of all 
religions whatever, which was afcribed to him during his life, and which 
are but too openly manifefted in the extraordinary fatirical romance 
which has given fo much celebrity to his name. 

During the greater part of his life, Rabelais was expofed to troubles 
and perfecutions. He was faved from the intrigues of the monks by the 
friendly influence of popes and cardinals ; and the favour of two fucceflive 
kings, Francois I. and Henri H., protefted him againfi: the ftill more 
dangerous hoftility of the Sorbonne and the parliament of Paris. This 
high protection has been advanced as a reafon for rcje6ting the anecdotes 
and accounts which have been commonly received relating to the per- 
fonal charafter of Rabelais, and his irregularities may poflibly have been 
exaggerated by the hatred which he had drawn upon liimfdf by his 

332 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

writings. But nobody, I think, who knows the charafter of fociety at 
that time, who compares what we know of the hves of the other fatirifts, 
and who has read the hiftory of Gargantua and Pantagruel, will confider 
fuch an argument of much weight againft the deliberate ftatements of 
thofe who were his contemporaries, or be inclined to doubt that the 
writer of this hillory was a man of jovial chara6ter, who loved a good 
bottle and a broad joke, and perhaps other things that were equally 
objedlionable. His books prefent a fort of wild riotous orgy, without 
much order or plan, except the mere outline of the ftory, in which is dif- 
played an extraordinary extent of reading in all clalTes of literature, from 
the mofl learned to the motl: popular, with a wonderful command of lan- 
guage, great imagination, and fome poetry, intermixed with a per- 
haps larger amount of downright obfcene ribaldry, than can be found in 
the macaronics of Folengo, in the "Epiftolae Obfcurorum Virorum," or 
in the works of any of the other fatirifts who had preceded him, or were 
his contemporaries. It is a broad caricature, poor enough in its ftory, but 
enriched with details, which are brilliant with imagery, though generally 
coarfe, and which are made the occafions for turning to ridicule everything 
that exifted. The five books of this romance were publifhed feparately 
and at different periods, apparently without any fixed intention of con- 
tinuing them. The earlier editions of the firft part were publifhed 
without date, but the earlieft editions with dates belong to the year 1535, 
when it was feveral times reprinted. It appeared as the life of Gar- 
gantua. This hero is fuppofed to have flourilhed in the firft half of the 
fifteenth century, and to have been the fon of Grandgoufier, king of 
Utopia, a country which lay fomewhere in the direftion of Chinon, a 
prince of an ancient dynafty, but a jovial fellow, who loved good eating 
and drinking better than anything elfe. Grandgoufier married Garga- 
melle, daughter of the king of the Parpaillos, who became the mother of 
Gargantua. The firft chapters relate rather minutely how the child was 
born, and came out at its mother's ear, why it was called Gargantua, how 
it was drelfed and treated in infancy, what were its amufements and 
difpofition, and how Gargantua was put to learning under the fophifts, 
and made no progrefs. Thereupon Grandgoufier fent his fon to Paris, to 

/// Literature arid Art. 333 

feek inftrudion there, and he proceeds thither mounted on an immenfe 
mare, which had been fent as a prefent by the king of Nuniidia — it nnift 
be borne in mind that the royal race of Utopia were all giants. At 
Paris the populace allembled tumultuouily to gratify their curiofity in 
looking at this new fcholar j but Gargantua, befides treating them in a 
ver)' contemptuous manner, carried off the great bells of Notre Dame to 
fufpend at the neck of his mare. Great was the indignation caufed by 
this theft. " All the city was rifen up in fedition, they being, as you know, 
upon any flight occafions, fo ready to uproars and infurredions, that foreign 
nations wonder at the patience of the kings of France, who do not by 
good juftice reftrain them from fuch tumultuous courfes." The citizens 
take counlel, and refolve on fending one of the great orators of the 
univerfity. Matter Janotus de Bragmardo, to expoftulate with Gargantua, 
and obtain the refloration of the bells. The fpeech which this worthy 
addrefles to Gargantua, in fulfilment of his miflion, is an amufing parody 
on the pedantic ftyle of Parifian oratory. The bells, however, are re- 
covered, and Gargantua, under Ikilful inflruftors, purfues his ftudies with 
credit, until he is fuddenly called home by a letter from his father. In 
fad, Grandgoufier was fuddenly involved in a war with his neighbour 
Picrocole, king of Lernu, caufed by a quarrel about cakes between fome 
cake-makers of Lerne and Grandgoufier's Ihepherds, in confequence of 
which Picrocole had invaded the dominions of Grandgoufier, and was 
plundering and ravaging them. His warlike humour is ftirred up by the 
counfels of his three lieutenants, who perfuade him that he is going to 
become a great conqueror, and that they will make him mafter of the 
whole jA'orld. It is not difficult to fee, in the circumftances of the time, 
the general aim of the fatire contained in the hiftoryof this war. It ends 
in the entire defeat and difappearance of king Picrocole. A fcnfiial and 
jovial monk named brother Jean des Entommeurs, who has firll dillin- 
guilhed himfclf by his prowefs and firength in defending his own abbey 
againfl the invaders, contributes largely to the vidory gained by Gargantua 
againtt his father's enemies, and Gargantua rewards him by founding for 
him that plcafant abbey of Thelc^me, a grand eftabliihment, ftored with 
•everything which could contribute to terrclfrial happinels, from which 

334 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotejque 

all hypocrites and bigots were to be excluded, and the rule of which 
was comprifed in the four fimple words, " Do as you like." 

Such is the hiftory of Gargantua, which was afterwards formed by 
Rabelais into the firft book of his great comic romance. It was pub- 
lifhed anonymoufly, the author merely defcribing himfelf as " Tabftrafteur 
de quinte elTence 3 " but he afterwards adopted the pfeudonyme of 
Alcofribas Nafier, which is merely an anagram of his own name, Francois 
Rabelais. A very improbable ftory has been handed down to us relating 
to this book. It is pretended that, having publifhed a book of medical 
fcience which had no fale, and the publifher complaining that he had 
loft money by it, Rabelais promifed to make amends for his lofs, and 
immediately wrote the hiflory of Gargantua, by which the fame book- 
feller made his fortune. There can be no doubt that this remarkable 
fatire had a deeper origin than any cafual accident like this 3 but it was 
exa6tly fuited to the tafte and temper of the age. It was quite original 
in its form and ftyle, and it met with immediate and great fuccefs. 
Numerous editions followed each other rapidly, and its author, encouraged 
by its popularity, very foon afterwards produced a fecond romance, in 
continuation, to which he gave the title of Pantagruel. The caricature 
in this fecond romance is bolder even than in the firft, the humour 
broader, and the fatire more pungent. Grandgoufier has difappeared 
from the fcene, and his fon, Gargantua, is kmg, and has a fon named 
Pantagruel, whofe kingdom is that of the Dipfodes. The firft part 
of this new romance is occupied chiefly with Pantagruel's youth and 
education, and is a fatire on the univerfity and on the lawyers, in which 
the parodies on their ftyle of pleading as then pra6tifed is admirable. In 
the latter part, Pantagruel, like his father Gargantua, is engaged in great 
wars. It was perhaps the continued fuccefs of this new produftion of his 
pen which led Rabelais to go on with it, and form the defign of making 
thefe two books part only of a more extenfive romance. During his 
ftudies in Paris, Pantagruel has made the acquaintance of a fingular 
individual named Panurge, who becomes his attached friend and conftant 
companion, holding fomewhat the pofition of brother Jean in the firft 
book, but far more crafty and verfatile. The whole f^abjeft of the third 

/;/ Literature and Art. 335 

book arifes out of Pantagreul's defire to marry, and its various amufing 
epifodes defcribe the different expedients which, at the fuggeftion ot 
Panurge, he adopts to arrive at a Iblution oi the quelVion whether his 
marriage would be fortunate or not. 

In pubhlliing his fourth book, Rabelais complains that his writings 
had raifed him enemies, and that he was accufed of having at lead written 
herely. In fad, he had bitterly provoked both the monks and the univerfity 
and parliament; and, as the increafing readion of Romanifm in France gave 
more power of perfecution to the two latter, he was not writing without 
fome degree of danger, yet the fatire of each fucceffive book became 
bolder and more dired. The fifth, which was left unfinifhed at his death, 
and which was publilhed potHiumoufly, was the moft fevere of them all. 
The charader of Gargantua, indeed, was almoft forgotten in that of Pan- 
tagruel, and Pantagruelifm became an accepted name for the fort of gay, 
recklefs fatire of which he was looked upon as the model. He defcribed 
it himfelf as a certaine gaiete d'efprit confite en viepris des chafes fortuites, 
in fad, neither Romanifm nor Protettantifm, but fimply a jovial kind of 
Epicurianifm. All the gay wits of 'be time afpired to be Plantagruelills, 
and the remainder of the fixteenth century abounded in wretched imita- 
tions of the llyle of Rabelais, which are now configned as mere rarities to 
the flielves of the bibliophilift. 

Among the dangers which began to threaten them in France in the 
earlier part of the fixteenth century, liberal opinions found an afylum at 
the court of a princefs who was equally diftinguiflied by her beauty, by 
her talents and noble fentiments, and by her accomplifluiients. Mar- 
guerite d' Angouleme, queen of Navarre, was the only fifter of Fran9ois I., 
who was her junior by two years, and was affe6lionately attached to her. 
She was born on the nth of April, 1492. She had married, firft, that 
unfortunate duke d'AlenQon, whofe mifcondud at Pavia was the caufe ol 
the difaftrous defeat of the French, and the captivity of their king. The 
duke died, it was faid of grief at his misfortune, in 1525 ; and two years 
afterwards, on the 24th of January, 1527, llie married Henri d'Albret, 
king of Navarre. Their daughter, Jeanne d'Albret, carried this petty 
royalty to the houfe of Bourbon, and was the mother of Henri IV. 

336 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Marguerite held her court in true princely manner in the caflle of 
Pau or at Nerac, and fhe loved to furround herfelf with a circle of men 
remarkable for their charafter and talents, and ladies diftinguifhed by 
beauty and accomplifhments, which made it rival in brilliance even that 
of her brother Franpois. She placed neareft to her perfon, under the 
charafter of her valets-de-chamhre, the principal poets and leaux-efprits 
of her time, fuch as Clement Marot, Bonaventure des Periers, Claude 
Gruget, Antoine du Moulin, and Jean de la Haye, and admitted them to 
fuch a tender familiarity of intercourfe, as to excite the jealoufy of the 
king her hufband, from whofe ill-treatment fhe was only prote6ted by 
her brother's interference. The poets called her chamber a "veritable 
ParnafTus." Hers was certainly a great mind, greedy of knowledge, 
diflatisfied with what was, and eager for novelties, and therefore Ihe 
encouraged all who fought for them. It was in this fpirit, combined 
with her earneft love for letters, that Ihe threw her prote6tion over both 
the fceptics and the religious reformers. At the beginning of the 
perfecutions, as early as 1523, Ihe openly declared herfelf the advocate of 
the Proteftants. When Clement Marot was arretted by order of the 
Sorbonne and the Inquifitor on the charge of having eaten bacon in 
Lent, Marguerite caufed him to be liberated from prifon, in defiance of 
his perfecutors. Some of the purell and ableft of the early French 
reformers, fuch as RoufTel and Le Fevre d'Etaples, and Calvin himfelf, 
found a fafe afylum from danger in her dominions. As might be 
fuppofed, the bigoted party were bitterly incenfed againfl: the queen of 
Navarre, and were not backward in taking advantage of an opportunity 
for Ihowing it. A moral treatife, entitled " Le Miroir de I'Ame 
Pecherefle," of which Marguerite was the author, was condemned by 
the Sorbonne in 1533, but the king compelled the univerfity, in the 
perfon of its re6tor, Nicolas Cop, to difavow publicly the cenfure. This 
was followed by a 1 greater a6t of infolence, for, at the inftigation of 
fome of the more bigoted papifl:s, the fcholars of the college of Navarre, 
in concert with their regents, performed a farce in which Marguerite was 
transformed into a fury of hell. Frangois L, greatly indignant, fent his 
axchers to arreft the offenders, who further provoked his anger by 

in Literature and Art. 337 

reiirtance, and only obtained iheir pardon through the generous inter- 
Cflhon of the princels whom they had lb groflly inl'ulted. 

Marguerite was herlelf a poetefs, and Ihe loved above all things thofe 
gay, and i'eldom very delicate, Itories, the telling of which was at that 
time one of the favourite amufements of the evening, and one in which 
fhe was known to excel. Her poetical writings were colleded and 
pnnted, under her own authority, in 1547, by her then valet- de-thaml re, 
Jean de la Haye, who dedicated the volume to her daughter. They are 
all oraceful, and fome of them worthy of the bell poets of her time. The 
tide of this colledion was, punning upon her name, which means a peail, 
" Marcruerites de la Marguerite des princeires, tres illullre reyne de 
Navarre." Marguerite's ftories (nouvelles) were more celebrated than 
her verles, and are laid to have been committed to writing under her 
own dictation. All the ladies of her court pollelfed copies of them in 
writing. It is underllood to have been her intention to form them into 
ten days' tales, of ten in each day, lo as to refemble the "Decameron " 
of Boccaccio, but only eight days were finilhed at the time of her death, 
and the imperfeft work was publilhed pofthumoufly by her vulet-de- 
chambre, Claude Gruget, under the title of" L'Heptameron, ou Hilloire 
des Amants Fortunes." It is by far the btft colle6tion of Itories of the 
fixteenth century. They are told charmingly, in language which is a 
perfe6t model of French compolition of that age, but they are all tales of 
gallantr)' fuch as could only be repeated in polite fociety in an age 
which was elTentially licentious. Queen Marguerite died on the 2 ill of 
December, 1.549, and was buried in the cathedral of Pau. Her death 
was a fubjedt of regret to all that was good and all that was poetic, not 
only in France, but in Europe, which had been accullomed to look iijion 
her as the tentii Muft; and the fourth Grace : — 

Mujarum decima et Charitum quarta^ inclyta regum 
El Joror et conjux, Marguarh ilia jacet. 

Before Marguerite's death, he: literary circle had been broken up by 
the hatred of religious perfecutors. Already, m 15.36, the imprudent 
boldncli of Marol had rendered it impoHible to protedt him any longer, 


33^ Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

and he had been obliged to retire to a place of concealment, from 
whence he fometimes paid a ftealthy vifit to her court. His place of 
valet-de-chamlre was given to a man of talents, even more remarkable, 
and who fhared equally the perfonal elteem of the queen of Navarre, 
Bonaventure des Periers. Marot's fucceffor paid a graceful compliment 
to him in a lliort poem entitled " L'Apologie de Marot abfent," 
publiihed in 1537. The earlier part of the year following witnefled the 
publication of the moft remarkable work of Bonaventure des Periers, the 
" Cymbalum Mundi," concerning the real chara6ter of which writers are 
Hill divided in opinion. In it Des Periers introduced a new form of 
fatire, imitated from the dialogues of Lucian. The book confifts of four 
dialogues, written in language which forms a model of French compo- 
fition, the perfonages introduced in them intended evidently to reprefent 
living chara6ters, whofe names are concealed in anagrams and other 
devices, among whom was Clement Marot. It was the boldeft declara- 
tion of fceptioifm which had yet iffued from the Epicurean fchool repre- 
fented by Rabelais. The author fneers at the Romilh church as an 
impollure, ridicules the Proteftants as feekers after the philofopher's ftone, 
and ihows difrefpe6t to Chriftianity itfelf. Such a book could hardly be 
publiihed in Paris with impunity, yet it was printed there, fecretly, it is 
faid, by a well-known bookfeller, Jean Morin, in the Rue St. Jacques, 
and therefore in the immediate vicinity of the perfecuting Sorbonne. 
Private information had been given of the charader of this work, poflibly 
by the printer himfelf or by one of his men, and on the 6th of March, 
1538, when it was on the eve of publication, the whole impreffion was 
feized at the printer's, and Morin himfelf was arretted and thrown into 
prifon. He was treated rigorouily, and is underftood to have efcaped 
only by difavowing all knowledge of the charader of the book, and 
giving up the name of the author. The-firfi; edition of the " Cymbalum 
Mundi " was burnt, and Bonaventure des Periers, alarmed by the 
perfonal dangers in which he was thus involved, retired from the court of 
the queen of Navarre, and took refuge in the city of Lyons, where liberal 
opinions at that time found a greater degree of tolerance than elfewhere. 
There he printed a fecond edition of the "Cymbalum Mundi/' which 

in Literature and Art. 339 

alfo was burnt, and copies of either edition are now exceflively rare.* 
Bonaventure des Periers felt io much the weight of the perfecution in 
which he had now involved himfelf, that, in the year 1539, as far as can 
be afcertained, he put an end to his own exillence. This event call a 
gloom over the court of the queen of Navarre, from which it feenis never 
to have entirely recovered. The fchool of fcepticifm to which Des 
Periers belonged had now fallen into equal difcredit with Catholics and 
Proteftants, and the latter looked upon Marguerite herfelf, who had 
latterly conformed outwardly with Romanifm, as an apoftate from their 
caufe. Henri Eftienne, in his " Apologie pour Herodote," fpeaks of the 
" Cymbalum Mundi " as an infamous book. 

Bonaventure des Periers left behind him another work more amufing 
to us at the prefcnt day, and more chara6lerillic of the literary taftes of 
the court of Marguerite of Navarre. This is a colle6tion of facetious 
Itories, which was publilhed feveral years after the death of its author, 
under the title of " Les Contes, ou Les Nouvelles Recreations et Joyeux 
Devis de Bonaventure des Periers." They have fome refemblance in 
ftyle to the ftories of the Heptameron, but are lliorter, and rather more 
facetious, and are charaderifed by their bitter fpirit of fatire againft the 
monks and popilh clergy. Some of thefe ftories remind us, in their 
peculiar charader and tone, of the " Epiftolae Obfcurorum Virorum," as, 
for an example, the following, which is given as an anecdote of the cure 
de Brou : — 

" This cur6 had a way of his own to chant the different offices of the church, 
and above all he disliked the way of saying the Passion in the manner it was ordi- 
narily said in churches, and he chanted it quite ilifFerently. For when onr Lord 
said anything to the Jews, or to Pilate, he made him talk high and loud, so that 
everybody could hear him, and v\hen it was tiie Jews or somebody else who spoke, 
he sixjkc so low that he could hardly be heard at ail. It hap|)ened that a huly of 
rank and importance, on her way to Cliatcaudun, to keep there the festival of 
Easter, pxsscd through Brou on Good Friday, about ten o'clock in the morning. 

• A cheap and convenient edition of the "Cymbalum Mundi," edited by the 
Bibliophile Jacob (Paid Lacroix), was pul)lished in Paris in 1841. I may here 
ktatc that similar editions of the principal French satirists of the sixteenth century 
have been printed during the last twenty- five years. 

340 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

and, wishing to hear service, she went to the church where the cure was officiating^. 
When it came to the Passion, he said it in his own manner, and made the whole 
church ring again when he said Suem quesrhh ? But when it came to the reply, 
Jejum Na-zarenum, he spoke as low as he possibly could. And in this manner he 
continued the Passion. The lady, who was very devout, and, for a woman, well 
informed in the holy scriptures, and attentive to the ecclesiastical ceremonies, felt 
scandalised at this mode of chanting, and wished she had never entered the church. 
She had a mind to speak to the cure, and tell him what she thought of it j and for 
this purpose sent for him to come to her after the service. When he came, she said 
to him,' Monsieur le Cure, I don't know where you learnt to officiate on a day like 
this, when the people ought to be all humility ; hut to hear you perform the 
service, is enough to drive away anybody's devotion.' ' How so, madame.'' said 
the cure. ' How so?' said she, ' you have said a Passion contrary to all rules of 
decency. When our Lord speaks, you cry as if you were in the town-hall ; and 
when it is a Caiaphas, or Pilate, or the Jews, you speak softly like a young bride. 
Is this becoming in one like you ? are you fit to be a cure? If you had what you 
deserve, you would be turned out of your benefice, and then you would be made to 
know your fault !' When the cure had very attentively listened to her, he said, 
' Is this what you had to say to me, madame ? By my soul ! it is very true, what 
they say; and the truth is, that there are many people who talk of things which 
they do not understand. Madame, I believe that I know my office as well as 
another, and I beg all the world to know that God is as well served in this parish, 
according to its condition, as in any place within a hundred leagues of it. I know 
very well that the other cures chant the Passion quite differently; I could easily 
chant it like them if I would ; but they do not understand their business at all. I 
should like to know if it becomes those rogues of Jews to speak as loud as our 
Lord ! No, no, madame ; rest assured that in my parish it is my will that God be 
the master, and He shall be as long as I live ; and let the others do in their parishes 
accoiding to their understanding.' " 

Another ftory, equally worthy of Ulric von Hutten, is fatirical enough 
on prieflly pedantry : — 

" There was a priest of a village who was as proud as might be, because he had 
seen a little more than his Cato ; for he had read De Syntaxl, and his Faujie precor 
gellda [the first eclogue of Baptista Mantuanus]. 'And this made him set up his 
feathers, and talk very grand, using words that filled his mouth, in order to make 
people think him a great doctor. Even at confession, he made use of terms which 
astonished the poor people. One day he was confessing a poor working man, of 
whom he asked, 'Here, now, my friend, tell me, art thou ambitious?' The poor 
man said ' No,' thinking this was a word which belonged to great lords, and almost 
repented of having come to confess to this priest ; for he had already heard that he 
was such a great clerk, and that he spoke so grandly, that nobody understood him, 
which he now knew by this word i:mi///ow ; for although he might have heard it 
somewhere, yet he did not know at all what it was. The priest went on to ask, 
* Art thou not a fornicator?' * No,' said the labourer, who understood as little as 

tJi Literature and Art. 341 

before. 'Art tliou not a orourmand?' said the priest. 'No.' 'Art thou not 
superbe [/>»-oW] .'' 'No.' 'Art thou not iracund .'' 'No.' The priest seeing 
the man answer always 'No,' was somewhat surprised. ' Artthou not concupiscent .>' 
' No.' ' And what art thou, then ?' said the priest. 'I am,' said he, 'a mason j 
here is my trowel ! ' " 

At this time " Panragruelifm " had mixed itfelf more or Ids largely m 
all the latirical literature of France. It is very apparent in the writings 
of Bonaventure des Periers, and in a confiderable number of fatirical pub- 
lications which now ifllied, many of them anonymoufly, or under the then 
fafhionable form of anagrams, from the prefs in France. Among thefe 
writers were a few who, though far inferior to Rabelais, may be confidered 
as not unequal to Des Periers himfelf. One of the moft remarkable of 
thefe was a gentleman of Britany, Noel du Fail, lord of La HerilTaye, 
who was, like fo many of thefe fatirifts, a lawyer, and who died, apparently 
at an advanced age, at the end of 1585, or beginning of 1586. In his 
publications, according to the falhion of that age, he concealed his name 
under an anagram, and called himfelf Leon Ladulfil (doubling the / in 
the name Fail). Noel du Fail has been called the ape of Rabelais, 
though the mere imitation is not very apparent. He publillied (as far as 
has been afcertained), in 1548, his " Difcours d'aucuns propos ruftiques 
facetieux, et de fmguliere recreation." Ibis was followed immediately 
by a work entitled " Baliverneries, ou Contes Nouveaux d'Eutrapel ;" but 
his laft, and moft celebrated book, the " Contes et Difcours d'Eutrapel," 
was not printed until 1586, after the death of its author. The writings 
of Noel du Fail are full of charming piAures of rural life in the fix- 
teenth century, and, though fufficiently ir&e, they prefent lefs than moll 
fimilar books of that period of the coarfenefs of Rabelais. I cannot 
(ay the fame of a book which is much more celebrated than either of 
thefe, and the hiftory of which is lUil enveloped in obfcurity. I mean the 
" Moyen de Parvenir." This book, which is full of wit and humour, 
but the licenticjufnefs of which is carried to a degree which renders it 
unreadable at the prefent day, is now afcribed by bibliographers, in its 
prefent form, to Buroalde de Verville, a gentleman of a Proteftant family 
who had embraced Catholicifm, and obtained advancements in the church, 
and it wa.s not printed until 1610, but it is fuj)pofed that in its prefent 

342 Hijiory of Caricature and Grofefqiie 

form it is only a revlfion of an earlier compofition, perhaps even an 
unacknowledged work of Rabelais himfelf, which had been preferved in 
manufcript in Beroald's family. 

Pantagruelifm, or, if you like, Rabelaifm, did not, during the fixteenth 
century, make much progrefs beyond the limits of France. In the 
Teutonic countries of Europe, and in England, the fceptical fentiment 
was fmall in comparifon with the religious feehng, and the only fatirical 
work at all refembling thofe we have been defcribing, was the " Utopia " 
of Sir Thomas More, a work comparatively fpiritlefs, and which produced 
a very flight fenfation. In Spain, the ftate of fecial feeling was ftill lefs 
favourable to the writings of Rabelais, yet he had there a worthy and true 
reprefentative in the author of Don Quixote. It was only in the feven- 
teenth century that the works of Rabelais were tranflated into Englifli ; 
but we mufl: not forget that our latirifts of the lafl: century, fuch as Swift 
and Sterne, derived their infpiration chiefly from Rabelais, and from the 
Pantagrueliftic writers of the latter half of the fixteenth century. Thefe 
latter were moft of them poor imitators of their original, and, like all 
poor imitators, purfued to exaggeration his leaft worthy charafteriflics. 
There is ftill fome humour in the writings of Tabourot, the fieur des 
Accords, efpecially in his " Bigarrures," but the later produttions, which 
appeared under fuch names as Brufcambille and Tabarin, fink into mere 
dull ribaldry. 

There had arifen, however, by the fide of this fatire which fmelt 
fomewhat too much of the tavern, another fatire, more ferious, which ftill 
contained a little of the ftyle of Rabelais. The French Proteftants at firft 
looked upon Rabelais as one of their towers of Ilrength, and embraced 
with gratitude the powerful proteftion they received from the graceful 
queen of Navarre ; but their gratitude failed them, when Marguerite, 
though flie never ceafed to give them her proteftion, conformed out- 
wardly, from attachment to her brother, to the forms of the Catholic 
faith, and they rejected the fchool of Rabelais as a mere fchool of Atheifts. 
Among them arofe another fchool of fatire, a fort of branch from the 
other, which was reprefented in its infancy by the celebrated fcholar and 
printer, Henri Eftienne, better known among us as Henry Stephens. 

//; Literature and Art. 343 

The remarkable book called an "Apologie pour Herodote," arofe out 
of an attack upon its writer by the Roninnills. Henri Eitienne, who was 
known as a ftaunch Protertant, publilhed, at great expenle, an edition ot 
Herodotus in Greek and Latin, and the zealous Catholics, out of fpite to 
the editor, decried his author, and fpoke of Herodotus as a mere colledor 
of moiiflrous and incredible tales. Eftienne, in revenge, publilhed what, 
under the form of an apology for Herodotus, was really a violent attack on 
the Romilh church. His argument is that all hiftorians mult relate tranf- 
actions which appear to many incredible, and that the events of modern 
times were much more incredible, if they were not known to be true, than 
anything which is recorded by the hiftorian of antiquity. After an intro- 
ductory dilTertation on the light "in which we ought to regard the fable of 
the Golden Age, and on the moral charatter of the ancient peoples, he 
goes on to fliow that their depravity was much lefs than that of the middle 
ages and of his own time, indeed of all r^eriods during which people were 
governed by the Church of Rome. Not only did this diffolutenefs ot 
morals per\ade lay fociety, but the clergy were more vicious even than 
the people, to whom they ought to ferve as an example. A large part 
of the book is filled with anecdotes of the immoral lives of the popilh 
clergy of the fixteenth century, and of their ignorance and bigotrj'j and 
he defcribes in detail the methods employed by the Romilh church to 
keep the mats of the people in ignorance, and to reprefs all attempts at 
inquiry. Out of all this, he fays, had rifen a fchool of atheifls and 
fcolTers, reprefented by Rabelais and Bonaventure des Periers, both of 
whom he mentions by name. 

As we approach the end of the fixteenth century, the ftruggle of 
parties became more political than religious, but not lefs bitter than 
before. The literature of the age of that celebrated " Ligue," which 
feemed at one time deflined to overthrow the ancient royalty of France, 
confirted chiefly of libellous and nbufive pamphlets, but in the midft of 
them there appeared a work far fuperior to any purely political fatire 
which had yet been feen, and the fame of which has never palled away, 
lis. obje6t was to turn to ridicule the meeting of the Eftates of France, 
convoked by the duke of Mayenne, as leader of the Ligue, and held at 

344 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Paris on the loth of February, 1503. The grand obje6i: of this meeting 
was to exclude Henri fV. from the throne ; and the Spanifh party pro- 
pofed to aboliih the Salic law, and proclaim the infanta of Spain queen 
of France. The French ligueurs propofed plans hardly lefs unpatriotic, 
and the duke of Mayenne, indignant at the fmall account made of his 
own perfonal pretentions, prorogued the meeting, and perfuaded the two 
parties to hold what proved a fruitlefs conference at Surefne. It was the 
meeting of the Eflates in Paris which gave rife i «•^«at celebrated Satyre 
Menippee, of which it was faid, that it ferved the caule of Henri IV. as 
much as the battle of Ivry itfelf. 

This fatire originated among a party of friends, of men diflinguifhed 
by learning, wit, and talent, though moft of their names are obfcure, who 
ufed to meet in an evening in the hofpi table houfe of one of them, 
Jacques Gillot, on the Quai des Orfevres in Paris, and there talk 
fatirically over the violence and infolence of the ligueurs. They all 
belonged either to the bar or to the univerfity, or to the church. Gillot 
himfelf, a Burgundian, born about the year ij6o, had been a dean in the 
church of Langres, and afterwards canon of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, 
and was at this time confeilier-clerc to the parliament of Paris. In 1589 
he was committed to the Baftille, but was foon afterwards liberated. 
Nicolas Rapin, one of his friends, was born in i^^^, and was faid to have 
been the fon of a prieft, and therefore illegitimate. He was a lawyer, a 
poet, and a foldier, for he fought bravely in the ranks of Henri IV. at Ivry, 
and his devotion to that prince was fo well known, that he was baniflied 
from Paris by the ligueurs, but had returned thither before the meeting 
of the Eftates in 1593. Jean PalTerat, born in 1534, was alfo a poet, and 
a profeffor in the College Royal. Florent Chrftien, born at Orleans in 
1540, had been the tutor of Henri IV., and was well known as a man of 
found learning. The moft learned of the party was Pierre Pithou, born 
at Troyes in 1539, who had abjured Calvinifm to return to Romanifm, 
and who held a diftinguillied pofition at the French bar. The lafl: of 
this little party of men of letters was a canon of Rouen named Pierre le 
Roy, a patriotic ecclefiaftic, who held the office of almoner to the cardinal 
de Bourbon. It was Le Roy who drew up the firft Iketch of the 

in Literature and Art. 345 

" Satyre Menippee," each of the others executed his part in the compofi- 
tion, and Pithou finally reviled it. For feveral years this remarkable 
fatire circulated only lecretly, and in manufcript, and it uas not printed 
until Henri IV. was eftablilhed on the throne. 

The fatire opens with an account of the virtues of the " Catholicon." 
or noftrum for curing all political difeafes, or the higuiero d'infierno, which 
had been fo effeftive in the hands of the Spaniards, who invented it. Some 
of thefe are extraordinary enough. If, we are told, the lieutenant of Don 
Philip " have fome of this Catholicon on his flasjs, he will enter without a 
blow into an enemy's country, and they will meet him with croHes and 
banners, legates and primates ; and though ho ruin, ravage, ulurp, mallacre, 
and fack everything, and carry away ravilh, burn, and reduce everything 
to a defert, the people of the country will fay, 'Thefe are our friends, 
they are good Catholics 3 they do it for our peace, and for our mother 
holy church.' " "If an indolent king amufe himfelf with refining this 
drug in his efcurial, let him write a word into Flanders to Father Ignatius, 
fealed with the Catholicon, he will find him a man who {faba con- 
fcifntia) will alTaHinate his enemy whom he has not been able to conquer 
by arms in twenty years." This, of courfe, is an alkifion to the murder 
of the prince of Orange. " If this king propofes to afliire his eftates to 
his children after his death, and to invade another's kingdom at little 
expenfe, let him write a word to Mendoza, his ambalTador, or to Father 
Commelet (one of the moft feditious orators of the Ligue), and if he 
write with the higuiero del infierno, at the bottom of his letter, the words 
Yd el Rnj, they will furnifh him with an apoflate monk, who will go 
under a fair femblance, like a Judas, and alfallinate in cold blood a great 
king of France, his brother-in-law, in the middle of his camp, without 
fear of God or men ; they will do more, they will canonife the murderer, 
and place this Judas above St. Petei', and baptife this prodigious and 
horrible crime with the name of a providential event, of which the god- 
fathers will be cardinals, legates, and primates." The allulion here is to 
the aflaffination of Henri III. by Jacques Clement. Thefe are but a 
few of the marvellous properties of the political drug, allcr tlie eniiincra- 
tion of which the report of the meeting of the Ellates is introduced by a 

346 Hifiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

burlefque defcription of the grand proceflion which preceded it. Then 
we are introduced to the hall of aflembly, and different fubje6ts piftured 
on the tapeftries which cover its walls, all having reference to the politics 
of the Ligue, are defcribed fully. Then we come to the report of the 
meeting, and to the fpeeches of the different fpeakers, each of which is a 
model of fatire. It is not known which of the little club of fatirifls wrote 
the open fpeech of the duke of Mayenne, but that of the Roman legate 
is known to be the work of Gillot, and that of the cardinal de Pelve, a 
mafterpiece of Latin in the flyle of the "Epiflolae Obfcurorum Virorum," 
was written by Florent Chreftien. Nicolas Rapin compofed the "harangue" 
placed in the mouth of the archbifliop of Lyons, as well as that of Rcfe, 
the reftor of the univerfity3 and the long fpeech of Claude d'Aubray was 
by Pi thou. Pafferat compofed moft of the verfes which are fcattered 
through the book, and it is underflood that Pithon finally revifed the 
whole. This mock report of the meeting of the Eftates clcfes with a 
defcription of a feries of political pi6tures which are arranged on the wall 
of the flaircafe of the hall. 

Thefe pictures, as well as thofe on the tapeftries of the hall of meeting, 
are fimply fo many caricatures, and the fame may be faid of another fet 
of piftures, of which a defcription is given in one of the fatirical pieces 
which followed the " Satyre Menippee," on the fame Yide, entitled, 
" Hifloire des Singeries de la Ligue." It was amid the political turmoil 
of the fixteenth century in France that modern political cancaiure took 
Us rife. 

in Literature and Art. 347 







IT has been already remarked that political caricature, in the modern 
fenfe of the word, or even perfonal caricature, was inconfiftent with 
the flate of things in the middle ages, until the arts of engraving and 
printing became fufficiently developed, becaufe it requires the facility of 
(juick and extenfive circulation. The political or fatirical fong was carried 

ver)-where by the minftrel, hut the fatirical pi6ture, reprefented only in 
fome folitary fculpture or illumination, cotild hardly be finilhed before it 
had become ufelefs even in the fmall fphere of its influence, and then 
remained for ages a ftrange figure, with no meaning that could be under - 
ftood. No fooner, however, was the art of printing introduced, than the 
importance of political caricature was underftood and turned to account. 
We have feen what a powerful agent it became in the Reformation, 
which in fpirit was no lefs political than religicms ; but even before the 
great religious movement had begun, this agent had been brought into 
activity. One of the earlieft engravings which can be called a caricature 
— perhaps the oldcft of our modern caricatures known — is reprefented in 
our cut No. 171, is no doubt French, and belongs to the year 1499. It 
is fufficiently explained by the hiftory of the time. 

At the date juft mentioned, Louis XII. of France, who had been king 
lef> than twelve months, was newly married to Anne of Hritany, and 

had rcfolved upon an expedition into Italy, to unite the crown of Naples 

34^ Hijfory of Caricature and Grotefque 

M'ith that of France. Such an expedition afFefted many political interefts 
and Louis had to employ a certain amount of diplomacy with his neigh» 
hours, feveral of whom were ftrongly oppofed to his projefts of ambition, 
and among thofe who afted moft openly were the Swifs, who were 

No. 171. The Political Game of Cards. 

believed to have been fecretly fupported by England and the Netherlands. 
Louis, however, overcame their oppofition, and obtained a renewal of the 
alliance which had expired with his predeceflbr Charles VIIL This 
temporary difficulty with the Swifs is the fubjeft of our caricature, the 
original of which bears the title " Le Revers du Jeu des Suylfes " (the 
defeat of the game of the Swifs). The princes moft interefted are 
alfembled round a card-table, at which are feated the king of France to 
the right, oppofite him the Swifs, and in front the doge of Venice, who 

in Literature and Art. 349 

was in alliance with the French againll Milan. At the moment repre- 
fented, the king of France is announcing that he has a flulh of cards, the 
Swifs acknowledges the weakneis of his hand, and the doge lays down 
bis cards — in fa6t, Louis XII. has won the game. But the point of the 
caricature lies principally in the group around. To the extreme right the 
king of England, Henry VII., dillinguilhed by his three armorial lions, 
and the king of Spain, are engaged in earnert converfation. Behind the 
former Hands the infanta Margarita, who is evidently winking at the 
Swils to give him information of the ftate of the cards of his opponents. 
At her lide Hands the duke of Wirtemberg, and jull before him the 
pope, the infamous Alexander VI. (Borgia), who, though in alliance with 
Louis, is not able, with all his etforts, to read the king's game, and looks 
on with evident anxiety. Behind the doge of Venice ftands the Italian 
refugee, Trivulci, an able warrior, devoted to the interefts of France ; 
and at the doge's right hand, the emperor, holding in his hands another 
pack of cards, and apparently exulting in the belief that he has thrown 
confulion into the king of France's game. In the background to the 
left are feen the count Palatine and the marquis of Montferrat, who alfo 
look uncertain about the refult; and belovv the former appears the duke 
of Savoy, who was giving aflidance to the French defigns. Tlie duke of 
Lorraine is ferving drink to the gamblers, while the duke of Milan, who 
was at this time playing rather a double part, is gathering up the cards 
which have fallen to the ground, in order to make a game for himfelf. 
Louis XII. carried his dtfigns into execution ; the duke of Milan, 
Ludovico Sforza, nick-named the Moor, played his cards badly, loll his 
duchy, and died in prifon. 

Such is this carlieft of political caricatures — and in this cafe it w-as 
purely political — but the queflion of religion foon began not only to mix 
itfelf up with the political qucftion, but almoft to abforb it, as we have 
feen in the review of the hiftory of caricature under the Reformation. 
Before this period, indeed, political caricature was only an affair between 
crown«rd heads, or between kings and their nobles, but the religious agita- 
tion had originated a valt focial movement, which brought into play 
nopular feelings and pallions : ihcfe gave caricature a totally new value. 

350 tiiftory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Its power was greateft on the middle and lower clafles of fociety, that is, 
on the people, the tiers etat, which was now thrown prominently forward. 
The new focial theory is proclaimed in a print, of which a fac-fimile will 
be found in the " Mufee de la Caricature," by E. J. Jaime, and which, 
from the ftyle and coftume, appears to be German. The three orders, 
the church, the lord of the land, and the people, reprefented refpeilively 
by a billiop, a knight, and a cultivator, ftand upon the globe in an honour- 
able equality, each receiving direft from heaven the emblems or imple- 
ments of his duties. To the billiop is delivered his bible, to the hufband- 

No. 172. The Three Orders of the State. 

man his mattock, and to the knight the fword with which he is to 
protett and defend the others. This print — fee cut No. 172 — which 
bears the title, in Latin, " Quis te praetulit ? " (Who chofe thee ?) belongs 
probably to the earlier half of the fixteenth century. A painting in the 
Hotel de Ville of Aix, in Provence, reprefents the fame fubjed much 
more fatirically, intending to delineate the three orders as they were, and 

/;/ Literature arid Art. 351 

not as they ought to be. The divine hand is letting down from heaven 
an immenfe frame in the form of a heart, in which is a pitture repre- 
fenting a king kneehng before the crofs, intimating that the civil power 
was to be fubordinate to the ecclefiaftical. The three orders are repre- 
fented by a cardinal, a noble, and a peafant, the latter of whom is bending 
under the burthen of the heart, the whole of which is thrown upon his 
ihoulders, while the cardinal and the noble, the latter drellld in the 
falliionable attire of the court minions of the day, are placing one hand 
to the heart on each fide, in a manner which fliows that they fupport 
none of the weight. 

Amid the fierce agitation which fell upon France in the fixteenth 
century, for a while we find but few traces of the employment of 
caricature by either party. The religious reformation there was rather 
ariftocratic than popular, and the reformers fought lefs to excite the 
feelings of the multitude, which, indeed, went generally in the contrary 
direction. There was, moreover, a chara6ler of gloom in the religion of 
Calvin, which contrafted ftrongly with the joyoufnefs of that of the 
followers of Luther; and the fadions in France fought to (laughter, 
rather than to laugh at, each other. The few caricatures of this period 
which are known, are very bitter and coarfe. As far as I am aware, no 
early Huguenot caricatures are known, but there are a few direfted againfl: 
the Huguenots. It was, however, with the rife of the Ligue that the 
tarte for political caricature maybe faid to have taken root in France, and 
in that country it long continued to flourilh more than anywhere elie. 
ITie firft caricatures of the ligueurs were direded againft the perfonof the 
king, Henri de Valois, and polfefs a brutality almoll beyond defcription. 
It was now an objed to keep up the bitternefs of fpirit of the fanatical 
multitude. In one of thefe caricatures a demon is reprefented waiting 
on the king to fummon him to a meeting of the " Eftates " in hell ; and 
ill the diftance we fee another demon flying away with him. Another 
relates to the murder of the Guifes, in 1588, which the ligueurs profelfed 
to afcribe to the councils of M. d'Epernon, one of his favourites, on whom 
ihcj- looked with great hatred. It is entitled, " Soufllemeiit tt Coiillil 
diabolique de d'Epernon a Henri dc Valois pour faccagcr les Catholicjues." 

352 Hifiory of Caricature a?id Grotefque 

In the middle of the pidure Hands the king, and befide him D'Epernon, 
who is blowing into his ear with a bellows. On the ground before them 
lie the headlefs corpfes of the deuxfreres Catholiques, the duke of Guife, 
and his brother the cardinal, while the executioner of royal vengeance is 
holding up their heads by the hair. In the diflance is feen the caflle of 
Blois, in which this tragedy took place ; and on the left of the pifture 
appear the cardinal de Bourbon, the archbiih<ip of Blois, and other 
friends of the Guifes, exprefling their horror at the deed. Henri III. was 
himfelf murdered in the year following, and the caricatures againfl him 
became ftill more brutal during the period in which the ligueurs tried to 
fet up a king of their own in his place. In one caricature, which has 
more of an emblematical charadler than moft of the others, he is pi6lured 
as " Henri le Monfirueux ;" and in others, entitled "Les Hermaphro- 
dites," he is exhibited under forms which point at the infamous vices 
with which he was charged. 

The tide of caricature, however, foon turned in the contrary direftion, 
and the coarfe, unprincipled abufe employed by the ligueurs found a 
favourable contrail in the powerful wit and talent of the fatirills and 
caricaturiils who now took up pen and pencil in the caufe of Henri IV. 
The former was, on the whole, the more formidable weapon, but the 
latter reprefented to fome eyes more vividly in pi6lure what had already 
been done in type. This was the cafe on both fides ; the caricature lafl. 
mentioned was founded upon a very libellous fatirical pamphlet againft 
Henri III., entitled "L'Ifle des Hermaphrodites." It is the cafe alfo 
with the firfl: caricatures againfl: the ligueurs, which I have to mention. 
The Eltates held in Paris by the duke of Mayenne and the ligueurs for 
the purpofe of elefting a new king in oppofition to Henri of Navarre, were 
made the fubjeft of the celebrated " Satyre Menippee," in which the pro- 
ceedings of thefe Eftates were turned to ridicule in the moft admirable 
manner. Four large editions were fold in lefs than as many months. 
Several caricatures arofe out of or accompanied this remarkable book. 
One of thefe is a rather large print, entitled "La Singerie des Eftats de la, 
Lio-ue, Tan 1593," in which the members of the Eftates and the ligueurs 
,are pi6tured with the heads of monkeys. The central part reprefents the 

in Literature and Art. 


meeting of the Eftates, at which the heutenant-general of the kingdom, 
the duke of Mayenne, feated on the throne, prelides. Above him is 
fufpended a large portrait of the infanta of Spain, L Efpoufec de la Liguf, 
as the is called in the fatire, ready to marry any one whom the Ellates 
Ihall declare king of France. In chairs, on each fide of Mayenne, are the 
two " ladies of honour " of the faid future ipoufe. To the left are feated 

No. 173. The yljjcmbly of Apes, 

in a row the celebrated council of fixteen (lesfcize), reduced at this time 
to twelve, becaufe the duke of Mayenne, to check their turbulence, had 
caufed four of them to be hanged. They wear the favours of the future 
fpoufc. Oppofite to them are the reprefentatives of the three orders, all, 
we arc told, devoted to the fervice of" the faid lady." Before the throne 

354 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

are the two muficians of the Ligue, one defcribed as Phelipottin, the blind 
performer on the viel, or hurdy-gurdy, to the Ligue, and his fubordinate, 
the player on the triangle, " kept at the expenfe of the future fpoufe." 
Thefe were to entertain the affembly during the paufes between the 
orations of the various fpeakers. All this is a fatire on the efforts of the 
king of Spain to eftablifli a monarch of his own choice. On the bench 
behind the muficians fit the deputies from Lyons, Poitiers, Orleans, and 
Rheims, cities where the influence of the Ligue was ftrong, difcufling the 
queflion as to who ftiould be king. Thus much of this pifture is repre- 
fented in our cut No. 173. There are other groups of figures in the 
reprefentation of the affembly of the Eflates ; and there are two fide com- 
partments — that on the left reprefentmg a forge, on which the fragments 
of a broken king are laid to be refounded, and a multitude of apes, with 
hammers and an anvil, ready to work him into a new king 5 the other 
lide of the pidure reprefents the circumftances of a then well-known aft 
of tyranny perpetrated by the Eflates of the Ligue. Another large and 
well-executed engraving, publilhed at Paris in 15945 immediately after 
Henri IV. had obtained poffefTion of his capital, alfo reprefents the grand 
proceffion of the Ligue as defcribed at the commencement of the 
" Satyre Menippee," and was intended to hold up to ridicule the warlike 
temper of the French Catholic clergy. It is entitled, "La Proceflion de 
la Ligue." 

Henri's triumph over the Ligue was made the fubjeft of a feries of 
three caricatures, or perhaps, more corre6tly, of a caricature in three 
divifions. The firfl is entitled the " Naiffance de la Ligue," and repre- 
fents it under the form of a monller with three heads, feverally thofe 
of a wolf, a fox, and a ferpent, iffuing from hell-mouth. Under it 
are the following lines : — 

Uenfer^ pour aJfewW Jouhs Je% loix tout le monde, 
Vomit ce monjire hideux^fait d''un hup rawfTeur^ 
D^un renard enveilly, et d^un ferpent, 
jiffuble d^un manteau propre a toute couleur. 

The fecond divifion, the " Declin de la Ligue," reprefenting its downfall. 

in Literature and Art. 


is copied in our cut No. 174. Henri of Navarre, in the form of a lion, 
has pounced fiercely upon it, and not too foon, for it had already feized 
the crown and fceptre. In the diftance, the fun of national profperity is 
feen rifing over the country. The third pidure, the " Effets de la Ligue," 
reprefents the dellruftion of the kingdom and the flaughter of the people, 
of which the Ligue had been the caufe. 

The caricatures in France became more numerous during the feven- 
teenth century, but they are either fo elaborate or fo obfcure, that each 

A'ff. 174. The Deftru&ion of the Ligue. 

requires almofl a differtation to explain it, and they often relate to 
queftions or events which have little intereft for us at the prefent day. 
Several rather fpirited ones appeared at the time of the difgrace of the 
marefchal d"Ancre and his wife ; and the inglorious war with the 
Netherlands, in 1635, furniftied the occafion for others, for the French, 
as ufual, could make merry in their reverfes as well as in their fuccefles. 
The imr*nalift general Galas inflicted fc-rious defeat on the French 
armies, and cj.Ti'^elled them to a very difaftrous retreat from the countries 
they had invaded, a:.'^ they tried to amufe ihemfelves at the expenfe of 
their conqueror. Galan was rather remarkable for obefity, and the French 

356 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqtie 

carlcaturifts of the day made this circumftance a fubjeft for their fatire. 
Our cut No. 175 is copied from a print in which the magnitude of the 
ftomach of General Galas is certainly fomewhat exaggerated. He is 

No. 175. General Galas. 

reprefented, not apparently with any good reafon^ as puffed up with his 
own importance, which is evaporating in fmoke^ and along with the 
fmoke thus ilfuing from his mouth, he is made to proclaim his greatnefs 
in the following rather doggrel verfes : — 

ye Juis ce grand Galas, autrefois dans Varme'e 
La glo'ire de fEfpagne et de mes compagnons ; 
Maintenant je ne Juh qu'un corps plein de fumee^ 
Pour avoir trap mange de ra'ves et d^oignons, 
Gargantua jamaia ri'eut une telle panje, &c. 

in Literature and Art. 


Caricatures ia France began to be tolerably abundant during the 
middle of the feventeenth century, but under the crulhing tyranny of 
Louis XIV., the freedom of the prefs, in all its forms, ceafed to exifl, and 
caricatures relating to France, unlets they came from the court party, 
had to be publillied in other countries, efpecially in Holland. Tt will be 
futficient to give two examples from the reign of Louis XIV. In the 
year i66i, a difpute arofe in London between the anibalfador of France, 
M. D'Elkades, and the Spanilh ambairador, the baron de Batteville, on 

No. 176. Bctltcville IlumUiated. 

liie queftion of precedence, which was carried fo far as to give rife to a 
(umult in the ftreets of the Englilh capital. At this very moment, a new 
SpaniOi ambaflador, the marcjuis de Fuentes, was on his way to I'aris, 
but Louis, indignant at Batteville's behaviour in London, fent orders to 
flop Fuentes on the frontier, and forbid his further advance into liis 
kmgdom. The king of Spain difavowed the -Aii of iiis amball^idor in 
Kngiand, who was recalled, and Fuentiyi received orders to make an 

35 S Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

apology to king Louis. This event was made the fubje6t of a rather 
boafting caricature, the greater portion of which is given in our cut 
No. 176. It is entitled " Batteville vient adorer le Soliel " (Batteville 
comes to worfhip the fun). In the original the fun is feen Ihining in the 
upper comer of the pifture to the right, and prefenting the juvenile face 
of Louis XIV., but the caricaturift appears to have fubftituted Batteville 
in the place of Fuentes. Beneath the whole are the following boaftful 
lines : — 

On ne i)a plus a Rome, on vient de Rome en France, 
Meriter le pardon de quelque grande offence. 
JJ'Ital'ie tout entiere eji foumije a ces loix ; 
Un Efpagnol p oppoje a ce droit de nos rois. 
Mais un Franfais puiffant joua des bajionnades. 
Ft punit rinfolent de Jes rodomontades. 

From this time there fprung up many caricatures againft the Spaniardsj 
but the moft ferocious caricature, or rather book of caricatures, of the 
reign of Louis XIV., came from without, and was direded againft the 
king and his minifters and courtiers. The revocation of the edi6t of 
Nantes took place in 06lober, I'^S^, and was preceded and followed by 
frightful perfecutions of the Protellants, which drove away in thoufands 
the earneft, intelligent, and induftrious part of the population of France. 
They carried with them a deep hatred to their opprefTors, and fought 
refuge efpecially in the countries moft hoftile to Louis XIV. — England 
and Holland. The latter country, where they then enjoyed the greateft 
freedom of aftion, foon fent forth numerous fatirical books and prints 
againft the French king and his minifters, of which the book juft alluded 
to was one of the moft remarkable. It is entitled " Les Heros de la 
Ligue, ou la Proceflion Monacale conduite par Louis XIV. pour la Con- 
verfion des Proteftans de fon Royaume," and confifts of a series of twenty- 
four moft grotefque faces, intended to reprefent the minifters and courtiers 
of the " grand roi " moft odious to the Calvinifts. It muft have provoked 
their wrath exceedingly. I give one example, and as it is difficult to 
fele6l, I take the firlt in the lift, which reprefents William of Fiirftemberg, 
one of the German princes devoted to Louis XIV., who, by his intrigues, 
had forced him into the archbilhopric of Cologne, by which he became 

in Literature and Art. 


an eleftor of the empire. For many reafons William of Fiirftemberg was 
hated by the French Proteftants, but it is not quite clear why he is here 
reprefented in the chara£ter of one of the low merchants of the Halles. 


A'b. 177. William of Fiirftcmberg. 

Over the pidure, in the original, we read, Guillaume de Furflemlng, crie. 
He, m'ljja eft, and beneath are the four lines : — 

yay qu'itte man pais pour fervir a la France, 
Soil par ma trahifon, Joit par ma lachtti ; 
'Jf^ay troubli Us e'tats par ma me'chancetc, 
Unc abbaye ejl ma recom^cnje. 

360 Hifiory of Caricature and Grotefque 










DURING the fixteenth century caricature can hardly be faid to have 
exifted in England, and it did not come much into falhion, until the 
approach of the great ftruggle which convulfed our country in the century 
following. The popular reformers have always been the firft to appreciate 
the value of pi6torial fatire as an offenfive weapon. Such was the cafe 
with the German reformers in the age of Luther ; as it was again with 
the Englifh reformers in the days of Charles I., a period which we may 
juftly confider as that of the birth of Englifli political caricature. From 
1640 to 1661 the prefs launched forth an abfolute deluge of political 
pamphlets, many of which were of a fatirical charaiSler, fcurrilous in form 
and language, and, on whatever fide they were written, very unfcrupulous 
in regard to the truth of their ftatements. Among them appeared a not 
unfrequent engraving, feldom well executed, whether on copper or wood, 
but difplaying a coarfe and pungent wit that muft have told with great 
effeft on thofe for whom it was intended. The firft objefts of attack in 
thefe caricatures were the Epifcopalian party in the church and the 
profanenefs and infolence of the cavaliers. The Puritans or Prelbyterians 
who took the lead in, and at firft diredled, the great political movement, 
looked upon Epifcopalianifm as diflfering in little from popery, and, at all  
events, as leading dire6t to it. Arminianifm was with them only another 


i?i Literature and Art. 361 

name tor the fame thing, and was equally detefted. In a caricature 
publilhed in 1641, Arminius is reprefented llipported on one fide by 
Herely, wearing the triple crown, while on the other fide Truth is 
turning away from him, and carrying with her the Bible. It was the 
indifcreet zeal of archbilhop Laud which led to the triumi)h of the 
Puritan party, and the downfall of the epifcopal church government, and 
Laud became the butt for attacks of all defcriptions, in pamphlets, fongs 
and fatirical prints, the latter ufually figuring in the titles of the pam- 
phlets. Laud was efpecially obnoxious to the Puritans for the bilternefs 
with which he had perfecuted them. 

In 1640 Laud was committed to the Tower, an event which was 
hailed as the firll grand ftep towards the overthrow of the billiops. As 
an example of the feeling of exultation difplayed on this occafion by his 
enemies, we may quote a few lines from a fatirical fong, publiflied in 
1641, and entitled " The Organs Eccho. To the Tune of the Cathedrall 
Ser\'ice." It is a general attack on the prelacy, and opens with a cry of 
triumph over the fall of William Laud, of whom the fong fays — 

jii he "was in his hra-ver'ie, 

A nd thought to bring us all in jja-verie. 

The parliament Jound out his kna-uerie } 

And fo fell IViUiam. 

Alas ! poore lyUliam I 

His pcpe-like domineering. 

And f'^me other tricks appearing, 

PraniolCd Sir Edivard Deering ^ 

To blame the old prelate. 

Alas ! poore prelate I 

Some fay he luas in hope 
To bring England againe to th^ pope ; 
But not J he is in danger of an axe or a rope. 

Farezuell, old Canterbury. 

Alas I poore Canterbury I 

Wren, biflinp of Ely, wa.s another of the more obnoxious of the 
prelates, and lliere was hardly lefs joy among the popular party when he 
was conHiiittcd to liic Tower in tlic courfc of tlic year 1641. Anolhei 

362 Hijlory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

fong, in verfe fimilar to the laft, contains a general review of the demerits 
of the members of the prelacy, under the title of "The Bilhops Laft 
Good-night." At the head of the broadfide on which it is printed ftand 
two fatirical woodcuts, but it muft be confelfed that the words of the 
fong are better than the engraving. The bifliop of Ely, we are told, had 
juft gone to join his friend Laud in the Tower — 

Ely, thou haji alivay to thy potver 

Left the church naked in a fiorme and Jbotvre, 

And nonxj for V thou mufi to thy old friend ;' th' Tower, 

To the Toiuer muji Ely ; 

Come aivay, Ely, 

A third obnoxious prelate was bifhop Williams. Williams was a 
Wellliman who had been high in favour with James L, but he had given 
offence to the government of Charles I., and been imprifoned in the 
Tower during the earlier part of that king's reign. He was releafed by 
the parliament in 1640, and fo far regained the favour of king Charles, that 
he was raifed to the archbilhopric of York in the year following. When 
the civil war began, he retired into Wales, and garrifoned Conway for 
the king. Williams's warlike behaviour was the fource of much mirth 
among the Roundheads. In 1642 was publilhed a large caricature on 
the three claffes to whom the parliamentarians were efpecially hoftile — 
the royalill judges, the prelates, and *he rutRing cavaliers 5 reprefented 
here, as we are told in writing in the copy among the king's pamphlets, 
by judge Mallet, bilhop Williams, and colonel Lunsford. Thefe three 
figures are placed in as many compartments with doggrel verfes under 
each. That of bifhop Williams is copied in our cut No. 178. The 
bifliop is armed cap-a-pie, and in the diflance behind him are feen on one 
fide his cathedral church, and on the other his war-horfe. The verfes 
beneath it contain an allulion to this prelate's Wellh extraftion in the 
orthography of Ibme of the words : — 

Ohfjir, Vme ready, did you ne-ver heere 

Ho'w forward I ha-ve byn t^is many a year e^ 

T^oppofe the praBice dat is noiv on foot e. 

Which plucks my brethren up both pranch and roote ? 

My jiojlure and my hart toth 'well agree 

To fight ) now plud is up : come, follow mee. 

/// Literature and Art. 


The country had now begun to experience the miferies of war, and 
to fmart under them ; and the cavaliers were efpecially reproached for the 
cruehy with which they plundered and ill-treated people whenever they 
gained the maftery. Colonel Lunsford was efpecially notorious for the 

l\i,. 178. The Church Militant, 

barbarities committed by himfelf and his men— to fuch a degree that he 
was popularly accufed of eating children, a charge which is frc(iucntly 
alluded to in the popular fongs of the time. Thus one of thefe fongs 
couples him with two other obnoxious royalifts : — 

Prcm Fielding, and from Vavajour, 

Both ill-afftllcd men, 
Frcm Lumford tke deliver ut, 
tyho eattth u^ children. 

64 Hijlory of Caricature and Grofefque 

In the third compartment of the caricature juft mentioned, we fee in 
the background of the piiture, behind colonel Lunsford, his foldiers occu- 
pied in burning towns, and maffacring women and children. The model 
of the gay cavalier of the earlier period of this great revolution, before 

No. 179. The Sucklington Faff ion. 

the war had broken out in its intenfity, was the courtly Sir John Suckling, 
the poet of the drawing-room and tavern, the admired of" roaring boys," 
and the hated of rigid Puritans. Sir John outdid his companions in 
extravagance in ever)thing which was fafliionable, and the difplay of his 
zeal in the calife of royalty was not calculated to conciliate the reformers. 

in Literature and Art. 365 

When the king led an army againft the Scottilli Covenanters in 1639, 
SuckUng railed a troop of a hundred horfe at his own expenl'e ; but they 
gained more reputation by their extraordinary drefs than by their courage, 
and the whole atiair was made a fubjeft of ridicule. Froni this time the 
name of Suckling became identified with that gay and profligate clafs who, 
dilgufted by the outward lliow of fandtity which the Puritans afledted, 
rulhed into the other extreme, and became notorious for their profanenefs, 
their libertinifm, and their indulgence in vice, which threw a certain 
degree of di (credit upon the royalirt party. There is a large broadiide 
among the King's Pamphlets in the Britifti Mufeum, entitled, " The 
Sucklington Fadion ; or (Sucklings) Roaring Boys." It is one of 
thofe fatirical compofitions which were then falhionable under the title 
of" Characters," and is illullrated by an engraving, from which our cut 
No. 179 is copied. This engraving, which from its fuperior flyle is 
perhaps the work of a foreign artift, reprefents the interior of a chamber, 
hi which two of the Roaring Boys are engaged in drinking and fmoking, 
and forms a curious pidure of contemporary manners. Underneath the 
engraving we read the following lines: — 

Much meate doth gluttony produce, 

ylnd makes a man a Jivme ; 
But hee 'j a temperate man indeed 
That -with a leafe can dine. 

Hee needes no napkin Jor his handes, 

Hii fingers fir to -wipe ; 
He hath his kitchin in a hox. 

His roaji meate in a pipe. 

When the war fpread itfelf over the country, many of thefe Roaring 
Boys became foldiers, and difgraced the profeflion by rapacity and cruelly. 
The pamphlets of the parliamentarians abound with complaints of the 
outrages peq>etrated by the Cavaliers, and the evil appears to have been 
incrcafed by the ilI-condu6t of the auxiliaries brought over from Ireland 
to Ccryt: the king, who were efpecially objedls of hatred to the Puritans. 
A broadfide among the king's pamphlets is adorned by a fatirical pi6lure 
of "The EngliOi Irilh Souldicr, with his new difcij)line new armes, old 

366 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

ftomacke, and new taken pillage; who had rather eat than fight." It 
was publifhed in 1642. The Englilh Irifh foldier is, as may be fuppofed, 
heavily laden with plunder. In 1646 appeared another caricature, which 
is copied in our cut No. 180. It reprefents " England's Wolfe with 

iVo. 180. "■ England" z Wolf r 

Eagles clawes : the cruell impieties of bloud-thirfly royalifts and blaf- 
phemous anti-parliamentarians, under the command of that inhumane 
prince Rupert, Digby, and the reft, wherein the barbarous crueltie of our 
civill uncivill warres is briefly difcovered." England's wolf, as will be 
feen, is drefled in the high fafh on of the gay courtiers of the time. 

A few large caricatures, embodying fatire of a more comprehenfive 
defcription, appeared from time to time, during this troubled age. Such 
is a large emblematical pi6ture, publifhed on the pth of November, 1642, 

in Literature ajui Art. 


and entitled " Heraclitus' Dream," for the fcene is fuppofed to be mani- 
felted to the philofopher in a vifion. In the middle of the pidure the 
iheep are feen Ihearing their Ihepherd ; while one cuts his hair, another 
treats his beard in the fame manner. Under the pidure we read the 
couplet — 

The fiocke that "was -wont to be [home by the herd, 
Noiv pclleth the Jhepherd injpight of his beard. 

On the 19th of January, 1647, a caricature appeared under the title 
" An Embleme of the Times." On one fide War, reprefented as a giant 
in armour, is feen ftanding upon a heap of dead and mutilated bodies, 
while Hypocrify, in the form of a woman with two faces, is flying towards 
a diftant city. " Libertines," " anti-fabbatarians," and others, are haften- 

No. l8l. Folly Uppermc/i. 

ing in the fame diredion ; and the angel of peftilence, hovering over the 
city, is ready to pounce upon it. 

The party of the parliament was now triumphant, and the queftion of 
religion again became the fubjed of difpute. The Prefl)yterian8 had 
been eftablifliing a fort of tyranny over men's minds, and Ibught to pro- 
fcrib<'. all other feds, till their intolerance gradually raifcd up a ftroug and 

368 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

general feeling of refiftance. Since 1643 a brifk war of political pam- 
phlets had been carried on between the Prefbyterians and their opponents, 
when, in 1647, the Independents, whofe caufe had been efpoufed by the 
army, gained the maflery. " Sir John Prefbyter " or to ufe the more 
familiar phrafe, " Jack Prefbyter," furnilhed a fubjeft for frequent fatire, 
and the Prelbyterians were not flow in returning the blow. In the 
colle6lion in the Britilh Mufeum we find a caricature which mufl: have 
come from the Pretbyterian party, entitled " Reall Perfecution, or the 
Foundation of a general Toleration, difplaied and portrayed by a proper 
emblem, and adorned with the fame flowers wherewith the fcoffers of 
this laft age have ftrowed their libellous pamphlets." The group which 
occupies the middle part of this broadfide, is copied in our cut No. [81. 
It has its feparate title, " The Pitture of an Englifh Perfecutor, or a foole- 
ridden ante-Prefbeterian fedary." (I give the fpelling as in the original.) 
Folly is riding on the feftarian, whom he holds with a bridle, the feftarian 
having the ears of an afs. The following homely rhymes are placed in 
the mouth of Folly, — 

Behculd my habit, like my 'witt, 
Equails his on tvhom Ifitt. 

Anti-Prefbyterian is, as will be feen, dreffed in the height of the fafhion, 
and fays — 

My curjed Jpeeches again ft Pre/be try 
Declares unto the ivorld my foolery. 

The mortification of the Prelbyterians led in Scotland to the procla- 
mation of Charles II. as king, and to the ill-fated expedition which ended 
in the battle of Worcefter in 1651, when fatirical pamphlets, ballads, and 
caricatures againft the Scottifh Prelbyterians became for a while very 
popular. One of the beft of the latter is reprefented in our cut No. 182. 
Its objeft is to ridicule the conditions which the Prefbyterlans exaded 
from the young prince before they offered him the crown. It is printed 
in the middle of the broadfide, in profe, publilbed on the 14th of July, 
165 1, with the general title, " Old Sayings and Predictions verified and 
flilfilled, touching the young King of Scotland and his gude fubjefts." 

in Literature and Art. 


The pifture has its feparate title, "The Scots liokling their young kinges 
nofe to the grinftone." followed by the lines — 

Ccme to the grinfl:,ne, CJiarles, ^tis ncio to late 
To recolefl, "'tis prejbiterian fate, 
Tou co-vinant pretenders, mujl I bee 
The jubjeSi of youer tradgie-comed'te? 

In fact, the pidlure reprefents Prelbyterianifm — Jack Prelbyter — holding 
the young king's nofe to the grindflone, which is turned by the Scots, 

No. I Si. Conditions of Royalty. 

perfonified as Jockey. The following lines are put into the mouths of the 
•hree adors in this Icene : — 

Jiciey. — I, Jockey, turne the stone of all your plots. 

For none turnes faster tlian the turne-coat Scots. 
Prejhyier. — We for our ends did make thee kin<j;, be suic. 

Not to rule us, we will not that endure. 
King. — You deep dissemblers, I kow what you doc, 
And, for revenges sake, I will disyemble too. 

Charles's defeat and flight from Worceftei furnilhed materials for a 

i^yo Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 

much more elaborate caricature than moft of the fimllar produ6tions of 
this period, and of a fomewhat lingular defign. It was pabliilied on the 
6th of November, 1651, and bears the title "A Mad Defigne 5 or a 
Defcription of the king of Scots marching in his difguife, after the Rout 
at Worcefter." A long, and not unneceirary, explanation of the feveral 
groups forming this pifture, enables us to underftand it. On the left 
Charles is feated on the globe "in a melancholy poflure." A little to 
the right, and nearly in front, the bifhop of Clogher is performing mafs, 
at which lords Ormond and Inchquin, in the fliapes of ftrange animals, 
hold torches, and the lord Taaf, in the form of a monkey, holds up the 
bifhop's train. The Scottilh army is feen marching up, confifting, accord- 
ing to the defcription, of papifts, prelatical malignants, Prelbyterians, and 
old cavaliers; the latter of whom are reprefented by the "fooles head 
upon a pole in the rear." The next group confifts of two monkeys, one 
with a fiddle, the other carrying a long ftaff with a torch at the end, con- 
cerning which we learn that " The two ridiculous anticks, one with a 
fiddle, and the other with a torch, fet forth the ridiculoufnefs of their 
condition when they marched into England, carried up with high 
thoughts, yet altogether in the darke, having onf?ly a fooles bawble to be 
their light to walke by, mirth of their own whimfies to keep up their 
fpirits, and a ftieathed fword to trufl:e in." Next come a troop of women, 
children, and papifts, lamenting over their defeat. Two monkeys on 
foot, and one on horfeback, follow, the latter riding with his face turned 
to the horfe's tail, and carrying in his hand a fpit with provifions on it. 
It is explained as "The Scots Kings flight from Worcefter, reprefented 
by the foole on horfeback, riding backward, turning his face every way 
in feares, ufhered by duke Hambleton and the lord Wilmot." Laftly, a 
crowd of women with flags bring up the rear. It cannot be faid that the 
wit difplayed in this fatire is of the very highefl order. 

After this period we meet with comparatively few caricatures until 
the death of Cromwell, and the eve of the Reftoration, when there came 
a new and fierce flruggle of pohtical parties. The Dutch were the fubjeft 
of fome fatirical prints and pamphlets in 1652 ; and we find a fmall number 
of caricatures on the focial evils, fuch as drunkennefs and gluttony, and on 

/// Literature afid Art. 


one or two lubjedts of minor agitation. AN'iih the clofe of the Common- 
weahh a new form of caricature came in. Playing cards had, during this 
feventeenth century, been employed for various purpofes which were quite 
alien to their original charadter. In France they were fnade the means 
of conveying inflruction to children. In England, at the time of which 
we are fpeaking, they were adopted as the medium for fpreading political 

No. 183. Arthur Hajclrigg. 

caricature. The earlieft of thefe packs of cards known is one which 
appears to have been publifhed at the very moment of the reftoration of 
Charles II., and which was, perhaps, engraved in Holland. It contains 
.•' ferics of caricatures u\\ the principal ads of the Commonwealth, and 
on the parliamentary leaders. Among other cards of a fimilar charadter 
wtich have been preferved is a pack relating to the popilh plot, another 

Z7'^ HiJlGry of Caricature and Grotefque 

relating to the Rye Houfe coiifpiracy, one on the Mifliflippi fcheme, 
pubhfhed in Holland, and one on the South Sea bubble. 

The earliefl: of thefe packs of fatirical cards, that on the Common- 
wealth, belonged a few years ago to a lady of the name of Prell, and is 
very fully defcribed in a paper by Mr. Pettigrew, printed in the " Journal 
of the Eritilh Archaeological Aflbciation." Each of the hfry-two cards 

LcLTTiherirK ojj/ GoldcT^ 

No. 184, General Lambert. 

prefents a pifture with a fatirical title. Ihus the ace of diamonds repre- 
fents"The High Court of Juftice, or Oliver's Slaughter Houfe." The 
eight of diamonds is reprefented in our cut No. 183 ; its fubjed is " Don 
Hafelrigg, Knight of the Codled Braine." It is hardly neceflary to lay 
that Sir Arthur Hafelrigg aded a very prominent and remarkable part 
during the whole of the Commonwealth period, and that his manner, 

in Literature and Art, 


were impetuous and authoritative, which was probably the meaning of 
the epithet here given to him. The card of the king of diamonds repre- 
fents rather unequivocally the fubjed indicated by its title, "Sir IT. Mild- 
may folicits a citizen's wife, for which his owne correds him." It is 
an allufion to one of the petty fcandals of the republican period. The 
eight of hearts is a fatire on major-general Lambert. This able and diftin- 
guillied man was remarkably fond of flowers, took great pleafure in 
cultivating them, and was Ikilful in drawing them, which was one of his 
favourite amufements. He withdrew to Amfterdam during the Protec- 

i\o. 185. Slin/i>itide. 

torate, and there gave full indulgence to this love of flowers, and I need 
hardly (ay that it was the age of the great tulip mania in Holland. 
When, after the Reftoration, he was involved in the f.ile of the n-gicides, 
but had his fentence commuted for thirty years of imprifonment, he 
alleviated the dulnefs of his long confinement in the ifle of Guernfey by 
the fame amufement. In the card we have engraved, Lambert is repre- 
fcnted in his garden, holding a large tulip in his hand ; :uul it is no doubt 
in allufion to this innocent tafle that lu is here entitled " Lambert, Knight 
<if the Golden Tulip." 

174 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

The Reftoration furniflied better fongs than prints, and many years 
paffed before any caricatures worthy of notice appeared in England. 
Even burlefque fubje6ls of any merit occur but rarely, and I hardly know 
of one which is worth defcribing here. Among the beft of thofe I have 
met with, is a pair of plates, publilhed in 1660, reprefenting Lent and 
Shrovetide, and thefe, I believe, are copied or imitated from foreign 
prints. Lent is come as a thin miferable-looking knight-errant, appro- 
priately armed and mounted, ready to give battle to Shrovetide, whofe 
good living is pernicious to the whole community, and he abufes his oppo- 
nent in good round terms. In the companion print, of which our cut 
No. 185 is a copy, Shrovetide appears as a jolly champion, quite ready to 
meet his enemy. He is beft defcribed in the following lines, extra6ted 
from the verfes which accompany the prints: — 

Fatt Shro-vetyde, mounted on a good fatt oxe, 
Suppojd that Lent ivas mad, or caught afoxe,* 
jirmed caf-a-pea from head unto the heel., 
yi Jpit his long Jiuordf Jomeivhat ivorfe thanjieale, 
{Sheath'' d in a fatt pigge and a peece of porke)y 
His bottles fid ivith ivine, ivellftopt ivith corke ; 
The tivo plump capons fluttering at his crupper ; 
And ''s jhoulders lac^d nuith faiufages for f upper ^ 
The gridirn {like a ivell frung inflrument) 
Hung at his backe, and for the turnament 
His helmet is a brajfe pott, and his flagge 
A. cookes foule apron, ivhich the ivind doth tvagtr, 
Fixd to a broome : thus bra-vely he did ride. 
And boldly to his foe he thus replied, 

• i.e , was drunk. 

//; Literature and Art. 375 








IX England, as in Athens of old, pertedt comedy arofe gradually out of 
the perfonalities of the rude dramatic attempts of an earlier period. 
Such productions as Ralph Roiiler Doiller and Gammer Gurton's Needle 
were mere imperfe6t attempts at, we may perhaps rather fay feelers 
towards, comedy itfelf — that drama, the obje6t of which was to carica- 
ture, and thus to dilled and apply correctives to, the vices and weak- 
nelfes of contemporary fociety. The genius of Shakefpeare was far too 
exquifitely poetical to qualify him for a talk like this ; it wanted fome 
one who could ufe the lancet and fcalpel ikiltully, but foberly, and who 
was not liable to be led aftray by too much vigour of imagination. 

Such a one was Ben Jonlon, whom we may rightly confider as the 
father of Englilli comedy. " Bartholomew Fair," firft performed at the 
Hope Theatre, on Bankfide, London, on the 31ft of 06tober, 1614, is 
the mod perfect and moll remarkable example of the truly Englilli 
comedy, remarkable, among many other things, for the extraordinary 
number of charadters who were brought upon the ftage in one piece, and 
who are all at the fame time grouped and individuaUfed with a Ikill that 
reminds us of the pictorial triumphs of a Callot or a Hogarth. London 
life is placed before us in all its more popular forms in one grand tableau, 
the one in which it would fliow itfelf in its more grotefcjue altitudes ; tlie 
London citizen, his vain or cafy wife, lliarpers of every defcription, and 
mwr victims no lefs varied in character, the petty city officers, all come 

376 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

in for their fhare of fatire. The different groups are diilributed fo natu- 
rally, that it is difficult to fay who is the principal charafter of the piece 
— and who ever was the principal charafter in Bartholomew Fair? Per- 
haps the charadter of Cokes, the young booby fquire from Harrow — for in 
thofe times even fo near London as Harrow, a young fquire was confidered 
to be in all probability but a young country booby — ftrikes us moft. It 
is faid to have been at a later period the favourite character of Charles H. 
Among the other principal charafters of the play are a pro6lor of the 
Arches Court named Littlewit, who imagines himfelf to be a bel cfprit ot 
the firfl; order; his wife, and her mother, dame Purecraft, who is a widow ; 
Juftice Overdo, a London magillrate, to whofe ward, Grace Wellborn, 
Cokes is affianced in marriage; a zealous Puritan, named Zeal-of-the-land 
Bufy, who is a fuitor to the widow Purecraft, herfelf alio a Puritan; 
Winwife, Bufy's rival ; and a gameller named Tom Quarlous, who 
figures as Winwife's friend and companion. All thefe meet in town, on 
the morning of the fair, Cokes under the care of a fort of fteward or 
upper fervant, named Wafpe, \vho was of a quarreltbme difpofition, 
and feparate in groups among the crowd which filled Smithfield and its 
vicinity, each having their feparate adventures, but meeting from time to 
time, and reaffembling at the end. Cokes behaves as a fimpleton from 
the country, longs for everything, and wonders at everything, buys up 
toys and gingerbread, is feparated from all his companions, robbed of his 
money and even of his outer garments, and in this condition finally 
fettles down at a puppet-lliow. Meanwhile the Puritan Bufy, by his zeal 
againfl: the "heathen abominations" of the fair on one hand, and 
Wafpe, by his quarrelfome temper on the other, fall into a feries of 
fcrapes, which end in both being carried to the ftocks. They are there 
joined by another important perfonage. Juftice Overdo, who is diftin- 
guifhed by an extraordinary zeal for the right adminifiration of juftice 
and the fuppreflion of focial vices of all kinds, has come into the fair in 
difguife, in order to make himfelf acquainted with its various abufes, and 
he paffes among them unknown ; and his inquifitive intermeddling bring-s 
him into a variety of mifliaps, in the courfe of which he alfo is feized bv 
the conftable, and allows himfelf to be taken to the ftocks, rather than 

in Literature a?id Art. 


betray nis identity. Thus all three, Buly, Wafpe, and Overdo, are placed 
in the rtocks at the fame time ; but Walpe, by a clever trick, efcapcs, and 
leaves the Puritan and the juftice confined together, the one looking upon 
himfelf as a martyr for religion's fake, the other rather glorying in 
fuffering through his difinterefted zeal for the common good. They, 
too, after a while make their efcape through an accidental overiight of 
their keepers, andniix again with the mob. The women, likewife, have 
been feparated from their male companions, have fallen among fharpers 
and bullies, been made drunk, and efcaped but narrowly from ftill worfe 
difafters. They all finally meet before the puppet-fliow, which has fixed the 
attention of Cokes, and there juftice Overdo difcovers himfelf. Such are 
the materials of Ben Jonfon's " Bartholomew Fair," the bufieft and moft 
amufing of plays. It is faid, when firft a6ted, to have given great fatif- 
fidion to king James, by the ridicule thrown upon the Puritans, and it 
continued to be a favourite comedy when revived after the Reflioration. 

"The Alchemift," by the fame author, preceded "Bartholomew 
Fair," by four years, and was defigned as a fatire upon a clafs of impoftors 
who, in that age, were among the greateft pefts of fociety, and were 
jnftruments, one way or other, in the greateft crimes of the day. "The 
Alchemift" belongs, alfo, to the pure Englifli comedy, but its plot is more 
(imple and diftind than that of "Bartholomew Fair." It involves events 
which may have occurred frequently, at periods when the metropolis was 
from time to time expofed to the vicillitudes of the plague. On one of 
thefe occafions, Lovewit, a London gentleman, obliged to quit the metropolis 
m order to avoid the plague, leaves his town houfe to the charge of one 
man-fervant, Face, who proves diftioneft, aftTociates himfelf with a rogue 
named Subtle, and an immoral woman named Dol Common, and introduces 
them into the houfe, which is made the bafis for their fubfequcnt opera- 
tions. Subtle affumcs the chara6ter of a magician and alchemift, while 
Dol a6b various female parts, and Face goes about alluring people into 
their fiiares. Among their dupes are a knight who lives upon the town, 
two Knglifh Puritans from Amfterdam, a lawyer's clerk, a tobacco man, 
a young country Hjuire, and his fifter dame Pliant, a widow. The various 
intrigues in which thefe individuals are involved, Ihow us the way in 

37^ Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

which the pretended conjurers and alchemifls contributed to all the vices 
of the town. At length their bale dealings are on the point of being 
expofed by the cunning of one upon whom they had attempted to irnpofe, 
when Truewit, the matter of the houfe, returns unexpe6tedly, and all is 
difcoveredj but the alchemill and his female alfociate contrive to efcape. 
The objed of their laft intrigue had been to entrap dame Pliant, who 
was rich, into a marriage with a needy Iharper^ and Lovewit, finding the 
lady in the houfe, and liking her, marries her himfelf, and, in confidera- 
tion of the fatisfadion he has thus procured, forgives his unfoithful fervant. 
Many have confidered the Alchemift to be the bell: of Jonfon's dramas. 
" Epicoene, or the Silent Woman," which belongs to the year 1609, is 
another fatirical pi6ture of London fociety, in which the lame clafs of 
charafters appear. Morofe, an eccentric gentleman of fortune, who has 
a great horror for noife, and even obliges his fervants to communicate 
with him by figns, has a nephew, a young knight named Sir Dauphine 
Eugenie, with whom he is dilfatisfied, and he refufes to allow him money 
for his fupport. A plot is laid by his friends, whereby the uncle is led 
into a marriage with a fuppofed filent woman, named Epicoene, but flie 
only fuftains the charader until the wedding formalities are completed, 
and thefe are followed by a fcene of noife and riot, which completely 
horrifies Morofe, and leads to a reconciliation with his nephew, to whom 
he makes over half his fortune. The earliefl: of Ben Jonfon's comedies, 
"Every Man in his Humour," was compofed in its prefent form in 1598, 
and is the firft of thefe dramatic fatires on the manners and charader of 
the citizens of London, of whom it was falhionable at the courts of 
James I. and Charles L to fpeak contemptuoufly. Kno'well, an old 
gentleman of refpedability, is highly difpleafed with his fon Edward, 
becaufe the latter has taken to writing poetry, and has formed a friendfliip 
with another gentleman of his own age, who loves poetry and frequents 
the rather gay fociety of the poets and wits of the town. Wellbred ha* 
a half-brother, a "plain fquire," named Downright, and a filter married 
to a rich city merchant named Kitely. Kitely, the merchant, who is 
extremely jealous of his wife, has a great defire to reform Wellbred, and 
draw him to a fl:eadier line of life a fentiment in which Downright 

tn Literature and Art, 37^ 

heartily joins. Kitely's jealoufy, and the Iteps taken to reform Wellbred, 
lead to the moft comic parts of the play, which concludes with the 
marriage of young Kno'well to Kitely's daughter, Mifs Bridget, and his 
reconciliation with his father. Among the other characters in the piece 
are captain Bobadil, " a bluftering coward," juftice Clement, " an old 
merr)' magilbate,'" his clerk, Roger Formal, and a country gull and a 
town gull. 

Thele comedies of London life became popular, and continued fu 
during this and the following reign — in faft, the mafs of thofe who 
attended the theatres could underftand and appreciate them better than 
any others, and, what was more, they felt them. Among, Jonfon's con- 
temporaries in the literature of this Englilh comedy were Middleton and 
Thomas Heywood, both very prolitic writers. Chapman, and Marfton. 
Certain clalfes of characlers are continually repeated in this comedy, 
becaufe they belonged efpecially to the London fociety of the time, but 
the employment and diftribution of thefe charaders admitted of great 
variations, and they perhaps often had at the time a fpecial intereft, as 
repreftnting known individuals, or as being combined in a plot which 
was built upon real incidents in London life. Among thefe were ufually 
a country gentleman of fortune, who was very avaricious, and had a 
fpendthrift fon, or who had a daughter, a rich heirefs, who was the objedt 
of the intrigues of fpendthrift fuitors ; young heirs, who have jull come to 
their ellates, and are fpending them in London ; young country fquires 
who are eafy vidims ; a needy knight, as poor in principles as in money, 
who lived upon the public in every way he could 3 defigning and unfcru- 
pulous women ; bullies and Iharpers of every defcription. In fad, uc 
feem to be always in the fmell of the tavern, and in the midll of diliipa- 
tion. Then there are fat, fleek, and wealthy citizens, whofe fouls are 
entirely wrapt up in their merchandife, who arc proud, neverthelels, of 
their pofition ; and eafy, credulous city wives, \\\\u are fond of finery and 
of praife, eager for gaiety and difplay, impatient of the rule of hulbands, 
or of the dulneli of home, and very ready to lillen to the advances of the 
gay gallants from the court end of the town, or from the tavern. The 
city Lradcflnan has generally an apprentice or two, fometimes very fuber 

380 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

but perhaps more frequently diffipated, who play their parts in the piece ; 
and often a daughter, who is either a model of modefty and all the 
domeftic virtues, and is finally the reward of fome hero of good principles, 
who has been temporarily led aftray, and his charadter mifinterpreted, or 
who is gay and intriguing, and comes to difgrace. But the favourite 
idea of excellence, or, to ufe a technical phrafe, the beau ideal of this 
comedy, appears to have been a wild youth, who goes through every 
fcene of diffipation, in a gentlemanly manner (as the term was then under- 
ftood), and comes out at the end of the play as an honeft, virtuous man, and 
receives the reward for qualities which he had not previoully difplayed. 

Sometimes the writers of this comedy indulged in peribnal, or even 
in political, allufions which brought them into trouble. In the year 
1605, Ben Jonfon, George Chapman, and John Marflon, wrote jointly a 
comedy entitled "Eaftward Hoe." It is a very excellent and amufing 
comedy, and was very popular. Touchftone, an honeft goldlmith in the 
city, has two apprentices, Golding, a fober and induftrious youth, and 
Quickfilver, who is an irreclaimable rake. Touchftone has alfo tu'o 
daughters, the eldeft of whom, Gertrude, affeds the fine lady, and is 
ambitious of finding a hulband in the fafliionable world, while her 
younger fifter, Mildred, is all virtue and humility. An attachment arifes 
between Golding and Mildred. Another charader in this drama is a 
needy, fcheming knight, who lives upon the town, and rejoices in the name 
of Sir Petronel Flafti. Sir Petronel is attradled by the rich dowry which 
the young lady, Gertrude, had to expeft, pays his court to her, and eafiiy 
works upon her vanity; and, her mother encouraging her, they are haftily 
married, contrary to the wifties of her father. The knight is fuppofed to 
poflefs a magnificent caftle fomewhere to the eaft of London, and the young 
bride and her mother proceed in fearch of this, from which the comedy 
derives its title of "Eaftward Hoe," but they are involved in various dif- 
agreeable adventures in the fearch, which ends in the conviftion that it is 
all a fable. Another chara6ter in the play is a greedy and unprincipled 
ufurer, who is fo jealous of his young and pretty wife, that he keeps her 
under lock and key; and this man is deeply involved in money-lending 
with Sir Petronel Flafh, and they are engaged in a feries of unprincipled 

in Literature ami Art. 3 8 1 

tranfadions, which lead to the dilgrace of them all, and in the courfe of 
which the virtue of the ufurer's wife falls a facrihce. Meanwhile the 
fortunes of the two apprentices have been advancing in diredly oppofite 
diredions. Quickfilvcr, the unworthy apprentice, leaves his mafter, pro- 
ceeds from bad to worfe, and tinally is committed to prifon, for a crime 
the punilhment of which was death. On the other hand. Gelding has 
not only gained his mailer's efteem and married his daughter Mildred, and 
been adopted as the heir to his wealth, but he has merited the refpedt of 
his fellow-citizens, and has been promoted in municipal rank. It becomes 
Golding's duty to prefide over the trial of his old fellow apprentice Quick- 
lilver, but the latter efcapes through Golding's generofity. 

There is Ibme found morality in the fpirit of this comedy, and a very 
large amount of immorality in the text. There was, indeed, a coarfe 
licence in the relations of fociety at this period, which are but too faith- 
fully reprefented in its literature. But there are two circumftances, acci- 
dentally attached to this drama, which give it a peculiar intereft. When 
brought out upon the rtage it contained reflexions upon Scotchmen 
which provoked tlie anger of king James I. to fuch a degree, that all the 
authors were feized and thrown into prifon, and narrowly efcaped the lols 
of their ears and nofes, but they obtained their rcleafe with fome diffi- 
culty, and only through powerful intercellion. In the copy which has 
boon brought down to us through the prels, we And no refledions what- 
ever upon Scotchmen, fo that it mufl have been altered from the original 
text. When we confider that, at this time, the Englifli court and capital 
were crowded with needy Scottifh adventurers, who were looked upon 
with great jealoufy, it is not improbable that in the original form of the 
comedy. Sir Petronel Flafli may have been a Scotchman, and intended 
not only as a fatire upon the Scottilh adventurers in general, but to have 
been defigned for fome one in particular who had the means of bringing 
upon the authors the extreme difpleafurc of the court. 

The other circumflancc which has given celebrity to this comedy, is 
one of Hill greater intereft. After the Reftoration, it was new modelled 
by Nicholas Tate, and brought again upon the flage under the title of 
" Cuckold's Haven." Perhaps through this remodelled edition, Hogarth 

382 Hifiory of Caricature and Grotef que 

took from the comedy of " Eaflward Hoe," the idea of his feries of plates 
of the hiflory of the Idle and Induflrious Apprentices. 

When we confider the ridicule which was continually thrown upon 
them in this earlier period of the Englilli comedy, we can eafily under- 
lland the bitternefs with which the Puritans regarded the ftage and the 
drama. When they obtained power, the ftage, as might be expefted, 
was fuppreffed, and for fome years England was without a theatre. At 
the Reftoration, however, the theatres were opened again, and with 
greater freedom than ever. At firft the old comedies of the days of 
James I. and Charles I. were revived, and many of them, modified and 
adapted to the new circumftances, were again brought upon the fiage. 
The original comedies which appeared immediately after the Reftoration, 
were often marked with a political tingej as the ftage faw its natural pro- 
teSors in the court, and in the court party, it embraced their politics 5 and 
Puritans, Roundheads, Whigs, all whofe principles were fuppofe'd to be con- 
trary to royalty and arbitrary power, fell under its fatire. Such was the 
chara6ter of the comedy of "The Cheats," by a play-writer of fome repute 
named Wilfon, which was brought out in 1662. The obje6t of this play 
appears to have been, in the firft place, to fatirife the Nonconformifts or 
Puritanical clergy — with whom were clafled the aftrologers and conjurers, 
who had increafed in number during the Commonwealth time, and infefted 
fociety more than ever — and the city magiftrates, who were not looked 
upon as being generally over-loyal. The three cheats who are the heroes 
of this comedy, are Scruple, the Nonconformift, Mopus, a pretender to 
phyfic and aftrology, and alderman Whitebroth. Dired perfonal attacks 
had been introduced into the comedy of the Reftoration, and it is probable 
that fomebody of influence was fatirifed under the name of Scruple, for 
the play was fupprefled by authority, and at a later period, when it was 
, revived, the prologue announces this fad in the following words : — 

Sad nnus^ my majiets ; and too true, I fear. 
For us — ScrupWs afiienc'd minijier. 
Would ye the cauje ? The brethren fni-uel, and fay, 
'Tisjcanda/ous that any cheat but they. 

Many of the dramatifts of the Reftoration were men of good and 

ill Literature and Art. 383 

ariliocratic families, witty and profligate cavaliers, who had returned from 
exile with their king. The family of the earl of Berkihire produced no lels 
than four writers of comedy, all brothers, Edward Howard, colonel Henry 
Howard, fir Robert Howard, and James Howard, while their filler, the 
lady Elizabeth Howard, was married to the poet Dryden. Edward Howard's 
flrft dramatic piece was a tragi-comedy entitled " The Ufurper," which 
came out in 1668, and was intended as a fatire upon Cromwell. His beft 
known comedies were "The Man of Newmarket," and "Woman's 
Conqueft." Colonel Henry Howard compofed a comedy entitled " United 
Kingdoms," which appears not to have been printed. To James Howard, 
the youngcft of the brothers, the play-going public, even then rather a 
large one, owed "The Englifh Mounfieur," and "All Miflaken, or the 
Mad Couple." Sir Robert Howard was the beft writer of the four, and 
wrote both tragedies and comedies, which were afterwards publiflied 
colle6lively. The beft of his comedies is " The Committee," which was 
firft brought on the ftage in \6^<,. and through fome chance, certainly not 
by its merit, continued to be an afting play during the whole of the laft 

"The Committee " is by far the beft of the dramatic writings of the 
Howards. Its defign was to turn to ridicule the Commonwealth men and 
the Puritans. Colonel Blunt and colonel Carelefs are two royalifls, whofe 
eftates are in the hands of the committee of fequeftrations, and who repair 
to London for the purpofe of compounding for them. The chairman of 
the committee is a Mr. Day, a worldly-minded and fufticiently felfifli Puritan, 
but who is ruled by his more crafty and ftill lefs fcrupulous wife, a defign- 
ing and ver}' talkative woman. Both are of low origin, for Mrs. Day 
had been a kitchen-woman, and both are very proud and very tyrannical. 
Among the other principal charafters are Abel Day, their fon, Obadiah, 
the clerk to the committee, a man in the intcreft of the Days, and an 
Irifti fcrvant named Teague, who had been the fervant oi Carelels's dear 
friend, a royalift officer killed in battle, and whom the colonel finds in 
great diftreCs, and takes into his own fervice out of charity. The ciia- 
radter of Teague is a very poor caricature upon an Iriihman, and hi.-: 
blunderc and bulls are of a very fpiritlefsdefcription. Here k an example. 

384 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

Teague has overheard the two colonels ftate that they Ihould be obliged 
to take the Covenant, and exprefs their reludance to do it, and in his 
inconfiderate zeal, he hurries away to try if he cannot take the covenant 
for them, and thus fave them a difagreeable operation. In the ftreet he 
meets a wandering bookfeller — a clafs of pedlars who were then common — 
and a fcene takes place which is beft given in the words of the original : — 

Bookfeller. — New books, new books ! A Desperate Plot and Engage- 
ment of the Bloody Cavaliers ! Mr. Saltmarshe's Alarum to 
the Nation, alter having been three days dead ! Mercurius 
Britannicus — 

Teague. — How's that? They cannot live in Ireland after they are 
dead three days ! 

Book. — Mercurius Britannicus, or the Weekly Post, or the Solemn 
League and Covenant I 

Teag. — What is that you say ? Is it the Covenant you have ? 

Book. — Yes 5 what then, sir ? 

Teag. — Which is that Covenant? 

Book. — Why, this is the Covenant. 

Teag. — Wei!, I must take that Covenant. 

Book. — You take my commodities ? 

Teag. — I must take that Covenant, upon my soul, now. 

Book. — Stand off, sir, or I'll set you further! 

Teag. — Well, upon my soul, now, I will take the Covenant for my 

Book. — Your master must pay me for 't, then ! 

Teag. — I must take it first, and my master will pay you afterwards. 

Book. — You must pay me now. 

Teag. — Oh ! that I will ^Knocks him doivn]. Now you're paid, you 
thief of the world. Here's Covenants enough to poison the whole 
nation. \^Exit. 

Book. — What a devil ails this fellow ? [Crying'\. He did not come to 
rob me, certainly ; for he has not taken above two-pennywoith of 
lamentable ware away; but I feel the rascal's fingers. I may 
light upon my wild Irishman again, and, if I do, I will fix him 
with some catchpole, that shall be worse than his own country 
bogs. [^Exit. 

In the fequel, Teague is caught by the conftables, and is liberated at 
the interference of his matter, who pays twopence for the book. The 
plot of the comedy is but a fimple one, and is neither fkilfully nor natu- 
rally carried out. Colonel Blunt comes to London from Reading in the 

i?2 Literature and Art. 385 

indde of a ftage-coach, having for his travelling companions Mrs. Day, 
her fuppofed daughter Ruth, and Arabella, a young lady whofe father is 
recently dead, leaving his eftates in the hands of the committee of fequef- 
trations. Ruth is, in truth, a young lady whofe eftates the Days have, 
under fimilar circumftances, robbed her of, and it is their delign to treat 
Arabella in the fame manner, under difguife of forcing her to marry their 
fon Abel, a vain filly lad. To efte6t this, ns the committee itfelf requires 
fome influencing to engage them in the feltilh plans of their chairman. 
Day and his wife forge a letter from the exiled king, complimenting the 
former on his great power and influence and talents as a ttatefman, and 
oftering him great rewards if he will fecretly promote his caufe. Day 
communicates this to the committee under the pretext that it is his duty 
to make them acquainted with all fuch perfidious defigns that might come 
to his knowledge, and they, convinced of his honefty and value to them, 
give up Arabella's eftates to the Days, and llie falls entirely under their 
power. Meanwhile, on the one hand, Arabella has gained the confidence 
of Ruth, who makes her acquainted with the whole plot againft her and 
her eftates, and on the other, Ruth falls in love with colonel Carelefs^ 
and colonel Blunt is fmitten with the charms of Arabella, and all this 
takes place in the committee room. Various incidents follow, which 
feem not very much to the purpofe, but at laft, as the marriage ot 
Arabella to Abel Day is prelfed forward, the two young ladies, although 
as yet they have hardly had an interview with the colonels, refolve to make 
their efcape from the houfe of the chairman of the committee, and fly to 
their lovers for proteftion. A fliort abfence from the houfe of Mr. and 
Mrs. Day and their fon together, prefents the defired opportunity, and 
Day having accidentally left his keys behind him, the idea fuggefts itfelf 
to Ruth to open his cabinet, and gain poflfeflion of the deeds and papers 
of her own eftates and thofe of Arabella. As flie had before this fecretly, 
obferved the private drawer in which they were placed, flie met witli no 
difficulty in efle6ling her purpofe, and not only found thefe documents, 
but alfo with them the forged letter from the king, and fome letters 
addreflrd to Day by young women whom he was fecrOtly keeping, and 
who demanded money for the fupport of children they had by him, and 

C c 

386 Hijtory of Caricature and Grotefque 

alluded to matters of a ftill more ferious chara6ler. Ruth takes pofleffion 
of all thefe, and thus laden, the two damfels hurry away, and reach 
without interruption the houfe where they were to meet the colonels. 
The Days return home immediately after the departure of their wards, 
and at once fufpeft the real ftate of affairs, which is fully confirmed, 
when Mr. Day finds that his mofl: private drawer has been opened, and 
his molt important papers carried off. They immediately proceed in 
fearch of the fugitives, having fent orders for a detachment of foldiers to 
aflifi: them, and the houfe in which the lovers have taken refuge is fur- 
rounded before they have had time to efcape. Finding it ufelefs to 
attempt refiftance by force, the befieged call for a parley, and then Ruth 
frightens Day by acquainting him with the contents of the private 
letters the has become poffeffed of, and his wife by the knowledge flie has 
obtained of the forged letter, which alfo fhe has in her poffeffion. The 
Days are thus overreached, and the play ends v/ith a general reconciliation. 
The ladies are left with the titles of their eftates, and with their lovers, 
and we are left to fuppofe that they afterwards married, and were happy. 

The plot of "The Committee, u will be feen, is not a very capital 
one, but the manner in which it is worked out is ftill worfe. The 
dialogue is extremely tame, and the incidents are badly interwoven.. 
When I fay that the example of wit given above is the beft in the play, 
and that there are not many attempts at wit in it, it will hardly be 
thought that it could be amufing, and we cannot but feel aftoniflied at 
the popularity which it once enjoyed. This popularity, indeed, is only 
explained by the fafhion of ridiculing the Puritans, which then prevailed 
fo ftrongly ; and it perhaps retained its place on the ftage during the laft 
century chiefly from the circumftance of its wanting the obje6lionable 
qualities which charafterifed the written plays of the latter half of the 
feventeenth century. 

"The Committee" is, after all, one of the very beft comedies of the 
fchool of dramatifts reprefented by the brothers Howard. Contemporary 
with this fchool of flat comedies, there was a fchool of equally inflated 
tragedy, and both foon became objefts of ridicule to the fatirifts of the day. 
Of thefe, gne of the boldeft was George Villiers, duke of Buckingham^ 

in Literature and Art. 387 

the fon of the favourite of king James I., and equally celebrated for his 
talents and his profligacy. Buckingham is laid to have planned and 
begun his fatirical comedy of " The Rehcarlal " as early as the year i'^63, 
and to have had it ready for reprefentation towards the December of 
1665, when the breaking out of the great plague caufed the theatres to 
be clofed. After this interruption its author, who was a defultory writer, 
appears to have laid it afide for fome time and then, new objedls for 
fatire having prefented themfelves, he altered and modified it, and it was 
finally completed in 167], when it was brought out at the Theatre 
Roval in Covent Garden. It is faid that Buckingham was allifted in the 
compofition of this fatire, but it is not Hated in what manner, by Butler, 
and by Martin Clilibrd, of the Charter-houfe. It is underftood that, in 
the firrt form of his fatire, Buckingham had chofen the Hon. Edward 
Howard for its hero, and that he afterwards exchanged him for Sir 
William Davenant, but he finally fixed upon Dryden, whofe tragedies 
and comedies are certainly not the beft of his writings — pofiibly fome 
perfonal pique may have had an influence in the feledion. Neverthelefs, 
with Dryden, the Howards, Davenant, and one or two other writers of 
comedy, come in for their fliare of ridicule. Dryden, under the name of 
Bayes, has compofed a new drama, and a friend named Johnfon goes to 
witnefs the rehearfal of this play, taking with him a country friend of the 
name of Smith. The play itfelf is a piece of mockery throughout, made 
up of parodies, often very happy, on the different play-writers of the day, 
and efpecially upon Dryden ; and it is mixed up with a running converfation 
between Bayes, the author, and his two vifitors, which is full of fatirical 
humour. The firft part of the prologue explains to us fufliciently the 
fpirit in which this fatire was written. 

IVc might ivell call ihit fycrt mock-play of ours 
/} p'jfie made of lucedi wjicad of fiotueri ; 
T<t juch ha-vt been presented to y^ur nojes, 
And there are juch, I fear , who thought ""em rofet. 
tVculd jome of ''em ivere here, to fee this night 
It^hat fluff it is in which they took delight. 
Here, bri/k, infpid rogues, for tvit, let fall 
Sometimei dull Jenje, but nfner none at all j 

388 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

There, ftrutt'ing heroes., -with a gr'im-fac^d tram, 
Shalt hra-ve the gods, in king Camhyjes "vein. 
For (changing rules, of late, as if men lorit 
In fpite of reajon, nature, art, and ivit) 
Our poets make us laugh at tragedy. 
And tuith their comedies they make us cry. 

A fliort account of this fatire will, perhaps, be bell underftood, if 1 
explain that the antagonifm of two contending kings of Granada having 
been a favourite idea of Dryden in his tragedies, Buckingham is faid to 
have defigned to ridicule him in making two, not rival, but aflbciate kings 
of Brentford, though others fay that thefe two kings of Brentford were 
intended for a fneer upon king Charles II. and the duke of York. Thefe 
two kings are the heroes of Bayes's play. The firfl a£l of "The Rehearfal " 
confifts of a difcuffion between Bayes, Johnfon, and Smith, on the general 
chara£ler of the play, in which Bayes exhibits a large amount of vanity 
and felf-confidence, faid to have been a charafteriftic of all thefe play- 
writers of the earlier period of the Reftoration, and he informs them that 
he has "made a prologue and an epilogue, which may both ferve for 
either; that is, the prologue for the epilogue, or the epilogue for the 
prologue, (do you mark!) nay, they may both ferve, too, 'egad, for any 
other play as well as this." Smith obferves, "That's indeed artificial." 
Finally Bayes explains, that as other authors, in their prologues, fought to 
flatter and propitiate their audience, in order to gain their favourable 
opinion of the plot, he, on the contrary, intended to force their applaufe 
out of them by mere dint of terror, and for that purpofe, he had intro- 
duced as fpeakers of his prologue, no lefs perfonages than Thunder and 
Lightning. This prologue, difengagedfrom the remarks of Bayes and his 
friends, runs as follows : — 


Thun.—l am the bold Thunder. 

Light.— The. brisk Lightning L 

Thun.—\ am the bravest Hector of the sky. 

Light.— A.x\6. I fair Helen, that made Hector die. 

Thun. — I strike men down. 

Light. — I fire the town. 

tn Literature and Art. 389 

T/4uB.— Let critics take heed how they grumble, 

For then I begin for to rumble. 
Light — Let the ladies allow us their graces, 

Or I'll blast all the paint on their faces. 

And dry up their peter to soot. 
Thun. — Let the critics look to't. 
Light. — Let the ladies look to't. 
Thun. — For the Thunder will do't. 
Light. — For the Lightning will shoot. 
Thun. — I'll give you dash for dash. 
Light. — ril give you Hash for flash. 

Gallants, I'll singe your feather. 
Thun. — I'll Thunder you together. 

Both. — Look to't, look to't j we'll do't, we'll do't ; look to't ; we'll 
do't. [Tivice or thrice repeated. 

Bayes calls this "but a flalh of a prologue," in reply to which. Smith 
obferves, "Yes; 'tis Ihort, indeed, but very terrible." It is a parody 
on a fcene in " The Slighted Maid," a play by Sir Robert Stapleton, 
where Thunder and Lightning were introduced, and their converfluion 
begins in the fame words. But the poet has another difficulty on which 
he defires the opinion of his vifitors. " I have made," he fays, " one of 
the molt delicate, dainty fimiles in the whole world, 'egad, if I knew 
how to apply it. 'Tis," he adds, "an allufion to love." This is the 
fmiile — 

So boar and JciUy ivhen any Jiorm is nigh 
Snuff uf>, and fmell it gathering in the sky ; 
Boar beckons Joip to trot in chejnut gro-ves, 
uind there conjummate their unfinijhed loves ; 
Penjive in mud they luaUotv all alone, 
And Jnore and gruntle to each other'' s moan. 

U is a rather coarfe, but clever parody on a fimile in Dryden's " Conqueft 
of Granada," part ii. : — 

So ttvo kind turtles, nvhen a ftorm is nigh, 
Look up, and fee it gathering in the sky ; 
Each calls his mate to jhelier in the gro^'es. 
Leavings in murmurs, their unjlni/hed loves ; 
Percy d on feme dropping branch, they Jit alone, 
yind coc, and hearken to each other' s moan. 

3 go Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

It is decided that the fimile fliould be added to the prologue, for, as 
Johnfon remarks to Bayes, " Faith, 'tis extraordinary fine, and very applic- 
able to Thunder and Lightning, methinks, becaufe it fpeaks of a ftorm." 
In the fecond aft we come to the opening of the play, the firfl; fcene 
confining of whifpering, in ridicule of a fcene in Davenant's " Play-houfe 
to Let," where Drake fenior fays — 

Draio up your men, 

A.nd in loiu ivhifpers give your orders out. 

In fa6l, the Gentleman-Ufher and the Phyfician of the two kings of 
Brentford appear upon the fcene alone, and difcufs a plot to dethrone the 
two kings of Brentford, which they communicate by whifpers into each 
other's ears, which are totally inaudible. In Scene ii., " Enter the two 
kings, hand in hand," and Bayes remarks to his vifitors, " Oh ! thefe are 
now the two kings of Brentford; take notice of their ftyle — 'twas never yet 
upon the ftage ; but, if you like it, I could make a fliift, perhaps, to {how 
you a whole play, writ all jufl: fo." The kings begin, rather familiarly, 
becaufe, as Bayes adds, "they are both perfons of the fame quality :" — 

ijl King. — Did you observe their whispers, brother king? 
znd King, — I did, and heard, besides, a grave bird sing, 

That they intend, sweetheart, to play us pranks. 
1/2 King. — If that design appears, 

I'll lay them by the ears, 

Until I make 'em crack. 
znd King. — And so will I, i' fack ! 
ift King. — You must begin, mon foi. 
ind King. — Sweet sir, far donned moi. 

Bayes obferves that he makes the two kings talk French in order " to 
fhow their breeding." In the third aft, Bayes introduces a new 
charafter, prince Prettyman, a parody upon the charafter of Leonidas, in 
Dryden's " Marriage-a-la-Mode." The prince falls afleep, and then his 
beloved Cloris comes in, and is furprifed, upon which Bayes remarks, 
" Now, here Ihe mufl: make a fimile." " Where's the necefiity of that, 
Mr. Bayes ? " alks the critical Mr. Smith. " Oh," replies Bayes, "becaufe 
fhe's furprifed. That's a general rule. You muft ever make a fimile 

in Literature and Art. 3 9 1 

when you are lurprifed ; 'tis a new wav ot" writing." Now we have 
another parody upon one of Dryden's fimiles. In the fourth fcene, the 
Gentleman-Ufher and Phyfician appear again, difcuding the queftion 
whether their whifpers had been heard or not, a difcullion which they 
conclude by feizing on the two thrones, and occupying them with their 
Jrawn fwords in their hands. Then they march out to raife their forces, 
and a battle to mufic takes place, four foldiers on each fide, who are 
all killed. Next we have a fcene between prince Prettyman and his 
tailor, Tom Thimble, which involves a joke upon the princely principle 
ot non-payment. A fcene or two follows in a fimilar tone, without at all 
advancing the plot ; although it appears that another prince, Volfcius, 
who, we are to fuppofe, fupports the old dynafty of Brentford, has made 
his efcape to Piccadilly, while the army which he is to lead has allembled, 
and is concealed, at Knightlbridge. This incident produces a difcuflion 
between Mr. Bayes and his friends: — 

Smith. — But pray, Mr. Bayes, is not this a little difficult, that you were 
saying e'en now, to keep an army thus concealed in Knights- 
bridge ? 

Bayti. — In Knightsbridge ? — stay. 

Johnjon. — No, not if inn- keepers be his friends.* 

Bjyet. — His friends ? Ay, sir, his intimate acquaintance ; or else, 
indeed, I grant it could not be. 

Smith. — Yes, faith, so it might be very easy. 

Bayei. — Nay, if I don't make all things easy, 'egad, I'll give 'em leave 
to hang me. Now you would think that he is going out of town ; 
but you will see how prettily I have contrived to stop him, 

Accordingly, prince Volfcius yields to the intiuence of a fair demoifclle, 
who bears the claOical name of Parthenope, and after various exhibitions 
of hefitation, he does not leave town. Another fcene or two, with little 
meaning, but full of clever parodies on the plays of Dryden, the Howards, 
and their contemporaries. The firft fcene of the fourth a£t opens with a 

• Knightsbridgc, as the principal entrance to London from the west, was full 
of jnn*. 

392 Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

funeral, a parody upon colonel Henry Howard's play of the " United 
Kingdoms." Pallas interferes, brings the lady who is to be buried to life, 
gets up a dance, and furnillies a very extempore feaft. The princes 
Prettyman and Volfcius difpute about their fweethearts. At the com- 
mencement of the fifth aft the two ufurping kings appear in Hate, 
attended by four cardinals, the two princes, all the lady-loves, heralds, and 
fergeants-at-arms, &c. In the middle of all this Hate, " the two right kings 
of Brentford defcend in the clouds, finging, in white garments, and three 
fiddlers fitting before them in green." " Now," fays Bayes to his friends, 
" becaufe the two right kings defcend from above, I make 'em fing to the 
tune and ftyle of our modern fpirits." And accordingly they proceeded 
in a continuous parody : — 

ly? King. — Haste, brother king-, we are sent from above. 
■2.nd King. — Let lis move, let us move ; 
Move, to remove the fate 
Of Brentford's long united state. 
17? King, — Tara, tan, tara ! — full east and by south. 
■2.nd King. — We sail vvith thunder in our mouth. 

In scorching noon-day, whilst the traveller stays, 

Busy, busy, busy, busy, we bustle along, 
Mounted upon warm Phoebus's rays, 
Through the heavenly throng. 
Hasting to those 
Who will feast us at night with a pig's pettytoes. 
iji King. — And we'll fall with our plate 

In an olio of hate 
znd King — But, now supper's done, the servitors try. 

Like soldiers, to storm a whole half-moon pie. 
17? King. — They gather, they gather, hot custards in spoons: 
But, alas ! I must leave these half-moons, 
And repair to my trusty dragoons. 
znd King. — O stay ! for you need not as yet go astray ; 

The tide, like a friend, has brought ships in our way, 
And on their high ropes we will play ; 
Like maggots in filberts, we'll snug in our shell, 
We'll frisk in our shell. 
We'll firk in our shell, 
And farewell. 
\ft King. — But the ladies have all inclination to dance, 

And the green frogs croak out a coranto of France. 

/// Literature and Art. 393 

All this is quite Ariftophanic. It is interrupted by a difcuflion between 
Bayes and his vifitors on the mulic and the dance, and then the two kings 
continue : — 

znd King. — Now mortals, that hear 
How we tilt and career, 
With wonder, will tear 
The event of such things as shall never appear. 
ift Kir.g. — Stay you to fulfil what the gods have decreed. 
ind King. — Then call me to help you, if there shall be need. 
\ft King. — So firmly resolved is a true Brentford king. 

To save the distressed, and help to 'em bring, 
That, ere a full pot ot good ale you can swallow, 
He's here with a whoop, and gone with a halloo. 

The rather too inquifitive Smith wonders at all this, and complains that, 
to him, the ienle of this is " not very plain." " Plain !" exclaims Bayes, 
" why, did you ever hear any people in the clouds fpeak plain ? They 
mnft be all for flight of fancy, at its full range, without the lead check or 
control upon it. When once you tie up Iprites and people in clouds to 
Ipeak plain, you fpoil all." The two kings of Brentford now " light out 
of the clouds, and ftep into the throne," continuing the fame dignified 
converfation : — 

iji Eing. — Come, now to serious council we'll advance. 
2nd King. — I do agree ; but first, let's have a dance. 

This confidence of the two kings of Brentford is fuddenly diihirbed by 
the found of war. Two heralds announce that the army, that of Knightf- 
bridge, had come to prote6t them, and that it had come in difguife, an 
arrangement which puzzles the author's two vifitors : — 

ijl King. — What saucy groom molests our privacies ? 
jft Herald. — The army's at the door, and, in disguise, 
Desire^ a word with both your majesties. 
znd Htrald. — Having from Knightsbridge hither march'd by stealth. 
xnd King. — Bid 'em attend a while, and drink our health. 
Smith. — How, Mr. Bayes ? The army in dJNguise! 
Bayei. — Ay, sir, tor fear the usurpers might discover them, that went 
out but just now. 

394 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

War itfelf follows, and the commanders of the two armies, the general 
and the lieutenant-general, appear upon the ftage in another parody upon 
the opening fcenes of Drj'den's " Siege of Rhodes :" — 

Enter, at fcveral doors, the GENERAL and LieuteNANT-GeNERAL, 
armed cap-a-pie, "with each a lute in his hand, and his Juaord drawn, and hung ivith 
a fear let riband at the ivriji, 

Lieut. -Gen, — Villain, thou liest. 

Gen. — Arm, arm, Gonsalvo, arm. What ! ho ! 

The lie no flesh can brook, I trow. 
Lieut.-Gen. — Advance from Acton with the musqueteers. 
Gen. — Draw down the Chelsea cuirassiers. 
Lieut.-Gen. — The band you boast of, Chelsea cuirassiers, 

Shall in my Putney pikes now meet their peers. 
Gen. — Chiswickians, aged, and renowned in fight. 

Join with the Hammersmith brigade. 
Lieut.-Gen. — You'll find my Mortlake boys will do them right. 

Unless by Fulham numbers over-laid. 
Gen. — Let the left wing of Twick'n'am foot advance. 

And line that eastern hedge. 
Lieut.-Gen. — The horse I raised in Petty France 
Shall try their chance. 

And scour the meadows, overgrown with sedge. 
Gen. — Stand : give the word. 
Lieut.-Gen. — Bright sword. 
Gen. — That may be thine. 

But 'tis not mine. 
Lieut.-Gen. — Give fire, give fire, at once give fire, 

And let those recreant troops perceive mine ire. 
Gen. — Pursue, pursue ; they fly> 

That first did give the lie ! \_Exeunt. 

Thus the battle is carried on in talk between two individuals. Bayes 
alleges, as an excufe for introducing thefe trivial names of places, that 
" the fpe6tators know all thefe towns, and may eafily conceive them to 
be within the dominions of the two kings of Brentford." The battle is 
finally flopped by an eclipfe, and three perfonages, reprefenting the fun, 
moon, and earth, advance upon the llage, and by dint of linging and 
manoeuvring, one gets in a line between the other two, and this, accord- 
ing to the llri6t rules of aftronomy, conftituted the eclipfe. The eclipfe is 
followed by another battle of a more defperate chara6ler, to which a flop 

ifi Literature and Art. 395 

is put in an equally extraordinary manner, by the entrance of the furious 
hero Drawcanfir, who Hays all the combatants on both fides. The 
marriage of prince Prettyman was to form the Uibjea of the fifth ad, but 
while Bayes, Johnfon, and Smith withdraw temporarily, all the players, in 
difguft, run away to their dinners, and thus ends "The Rehearfal " of 
Mr. Bayes's play. The epilogue returns to the moral which the play was 
defitrned to inculcate : — 


The play is at an end, but -whereas the blot ? 
That c'lrcumflance the poet Bayes forrct. 
And ive can boajl, though 'tis a plotting age. 
No place is freer from it than the ji age. 

Formerly people fought to write fo that they might be underftood, but 
" this new way of wit " was altogether incomprehenfible : — 

Wherefore, for ours, and for the kingdom's peace, 
May this prodigious "way of luriting ceafe ; 
Let's have, at leafl once in our li-ves, a time 
IP'ken -we may hear Jome reafon, not all rhyme. 
IVe have this ten years felt its infuence ; 
Pray let this prove a year of proje and Jenje. 

Englifh comedy was certainly greatly reformed, in Ibme I'enies of the 
word reform, during the period which followed the publication of " The 
Rehearfal," and, in the hands of writers like Wycherley, Shadwell, 
Congreve, and D'Urfey, the dulnefs of the Howards was exchanged 
for an extreme degree of vivacity. The plot was as little confidered as 
ever — it was a mere peg on which to hang fcenes brilliant with wit and 
repartee. The fmall intrigue is often but a frame for a great pidlure of 
lcx:iety in its forms then moft open to caricature, with all the petty 
intrigues infeparable from it. " Epfom. Wells," one of Shadwell's earlier 
comedies, and perhaps his beft, will bear comparifon with Jonfon's 
" Bartholomew Fair." The perfonages reprefented in it are exat^tiy thofe 
which then fiione in fuch fociety — three " men of wit and pleafure," one 
of the clafs of country fquires whom the wits of London loved to laugh at, 
aiiU who is dcfcribed as "a country jufiice, a uublic fpiriled, politick, 

396 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

difcontented fop, an immoderate hater of London, and a lover of the 
country above meafure, a hearty true Enghfh coxcomb." Then we have 
" two cheating, fliarking, cowardly bullies." The citizens of London are 
reprefented by Biiket, " a comfit-maker, a quiet, humble, civil cuckold, 
governed by his wife, whom he very much fears and loves at the fame 
time, and is very proud of," and Fribble, " a haberdalher, a furly cuckold, 
very conceited, and proud of his wife, but pretends to govern and keep 
her under," and their wives, the firft " an impertinent, imperious flrumpet," 
and the other, " an humble, fubmitting wife, who jilts her huiband that 

way, a very " One or two other charadters of the fame ftamp, 

with " two young ladies of wit, beauty, and fortune," who behave them- 
felves not much better than the others, and a full allowance of " parfons, 
heftors, conftables, watchmen, and fiddlers," complete the dramatis 
per/once of " Epfom Wells." Witli fuch materials anybody will under- 
ftand the charadter of the piece, which was brought out on the flage in 
1672. "The Squire of Alfatia," by the fame author, brought upon the 
flage in the eventful year 1688, is a vivid pifture of one of the wildeft 
phafes of London life in thofe ftill rather primitive times. Alfatia, as 
every reader of Walter Scott knows, was a cant name for the White 
Friars, in London, a locality which, at that time, was beyond the reach of 
the law and its officers, a refuge for thieves and rogues, and efpecially for 
debtors, where they could either refift with no great fear of being over- 
come, or, when refiftance was no longer poffible, efcape with eafe. With 
fuch a fcene, and fuch people for charaders, we are not furprifed that the 
printed edition of this play is prefaced by a vocabulary of the cant words 
employed in it. The principal charaders in the play are of the fame clals 
with thofe which form the ftaple of all thefe old comedies. Firfl; there is 
a country father or uncle, who is rich and fevere upon the vices of youth, 
or arbitrary, or avaricious. He is here reprefented by fir William Belfond, 
"a gentleman of about ^3000 per annum, who in his youth had been a 
fpark of the town ; but married and retired into the country, where he 
turned to the other extreme — rigid, morofe, moft fordidly covetous, 
clownifh, obflinate, pofitive, and forward." He muft have a London brother, 
or near relative, endowed with exaftly contrary qualities, here reprefented 

in Literature and Art, 397 

by fir Edward Belfond, tir William's brother, " a merchant, who by- 
lucky hits had gotten a great ertate, lives fingle with eafe and pleafure, 
reafonably and virtuoufly, a man of great humanity and gentlenefs and 
companion towards mankind, well read in good booTvs, polfefled with all 
gentlemanlike qualities." Sir William Belfond has two fons. Belfond 
fenior, the eldeft, is "bred after his father's ruftic, fwinilh manner, with 
great rigour and feverity, upon whom his father's ellate is entailed, the 
confidence of which makes him break out into open rebellion to his 
father, and become lewd, abominably vicious, lUibborn, and obllinale." 
The younger Belfond, Sir William's fecond fon, had been " adopted by 
Sir Edward, and bred from his childhood by him, with all the tendernels 
and familiarity, and bounty, and liberty that can be;" he was "intruded 
in all the liberal fciences, and in all gentleman-like education ; fomewhat 
given to women, and now and then to good fellowlhip ; but an ingenious, 
well-accompli(hed gentleman ; a man of honour, and of excellent difpo- 
fition and temper." Then we have fome of the leading heroes of 
Alfatia, and firft Cheatly, who is defcribed as " a rafcal, who by reafon of 
debts, dares not ftir out of Whitefryers, but there inveigles young heirs 
in tail ; and helps 'em to goods and money upon great difadvantages ; is 
bound for them, and (hares with them, till he undoes them ; a lewd, 
impudent, debauched fellow, very expert in the cant about the town." 
Shamweil is " coufin to the Belfonds, an heir, who, being ruined by 
Cheatly, is made a decoy-duck for others ; not daring to ilay out of 
Alfatia, where he lives ; is bound with Cheatly for heirs, and lives upon 
them, a dilTolute, debauch'd life." Another of thefe characters is captain 
Hackum, "a block-headed bully of Alfatia; a cowardly, impudent, 
bluftcring fellow ; formerly a fergeant in Flanders, run from his colours, 
retreating into Whitefryers for a very fmall debt ; where by the Alfatians 
he is dubb'd a captain ; marries one that lets lodgings, fells cherry-brandy, 
and is a bawd." Nor is Alfatia without a reprefentative of the Puritanical 
part of fociety, in Scrapeall, " a hypocritical, repeating, praying, plalm- 
finging, precife fellow, pretending to great piety ; a godly knave, who 
joins with Cheatly, and fupplies young heirs with goods and money." A 
rather large number of inferior characters fill up the canvas j and the 

2gS Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

females, with two exceptions, belong to the fame clafs. The plot of this 
play Is very fimple. The elder fon of fir William Belfond has taken to 
Alfatia, but fir William, on his return from abroad, hearing talk of the 
fame of a fquire Belfond among the Alfatians, imagines that it is his 
younger fon, and out of this miftake a confiderable amount of mifunder- 
llanding arifes. At laft fir William difcovers his error, and finds his 
eldefl fon in Whitefryers, but the youth fets him at defiance. The father, 
in great anger, brings tipftaff conftables, to take away his fon by force ; 
but the Alfatians rife in force, the ofificers of the law are beaten, and fir 
William himfelf taken prifoner. He is refcued by the younger Belfond, 
and in the conclufion the elder brother becomes penitent, and is 
reconciled with his father. There is an underplot, far from moral in its 
charader, which ends in the marriage of Belfond junior. It is a bufy, 
noify play, and was a great favourite on the ilage ; but it is now chiefly 
interefting as a vivid pidure of London life in the latter half of the 
feventeenth century. "Bury Fair," by Shadwell, is another comedy 
of the fame defcription ; with little intereft in the plot, but full of 
life and movement. If " The Squire of Alfatia " was noify, " The 
Scowrers," another comedy by the fame author, firfi: brought on the 
ftage in 1691, was ftill more fo. The wild and riotous gallants who, 
in former times of inefficient police regulation, infefl^ed the ftreets at 
night, and committed all forts of outrages, were known at ditferent periods 
by a variety of names. In the reign of James I. and Charles I. they 
were the "roaring boys;" in the time of Shadwell, they were called the 
" fcowrers," becaufe they fcowered the ftreets at night, and rather roughly 
cleared them of all paflTengers ; a few years later they took the name of 
Mohocks, or Mohawks. During the night London lay at the mercy of 
thefe riotous clalfes, and the ftreets witnelfed fcenes of brutal violence, 
which, at the prefent day, we can hardly imagine. This ftate of things 
is pidlured in Shadwell's comedy. Sir William Rant, Wildfire, and 
Tope, are noted fcowrers, well known in the town, whofe fame has 
excited emulation in men of lefs diftindion in their way, Whachum, 
"a city wit and fcowrer, imitator of fir William," and " two fcoundrells," 
liis companions, Blufter and Dingboy. Great enmity arifes between the 

/;/ Literature ajid Art. 399 

two parties of rival Icowrers. The more lerious charaders in the play 
are Mr. Rant, lir William Rant's tather, and lir Richard Maggot, "a 
foolilh Jacobite alderman " (it mull be remembered that we are now in 
the reign of king William). Sir Richard's wife, lady Maggot, like the 
citizen's wives of the comedy of the Reftoration generally, is a lady rather 
wanting in virtue, ambitious of mixing with the gay and fafhionable 
world, and Ibmewhat of a tyrant over her hulband. She has two hand- 
fome daughters, whom llie feeks to keep confined from the world, left 
they fhould become her rivals. There are low charaders of both fexes, 
who need not be enumerated. Much of the play is taken up with ftreet 
rows, capital fatirical pidures of London life. The play ends with 
marriages, and with the reconciliation of lir William Rant with his 
father, the ferious old gentleman of the play. Shadwell excelled in thefe 
bill} comedies. One of the neareft approaches to him is Mountfort's 
comedy of " Greenwich Park," which is another ftriking fatire on the 
loofenefs of London life at that time. As in the others, the plot is fimply 
nothing. The play confilb of a number of intrigues, fuch as may be 
imagined, at a time when morality was little refpeded, in places of 
falhionable refort like Greenwich Park and Deptford Wells. 

An element of fatire was now introduced into Englifli comedy which 
docs not appear to have belonged to it before — this was mimicry. 
Although the principal charaders in the play bore conventional names, 
they appear often to have been intended to reprefent individuals then 
well known in fociety, and thefe individuals were caricatured in their 
drefs, and mimicked in their language and manners. We are told that 
this mimicry contributed greatl) to the fuccefs of " The Rehearfal," the 
duke of Buckingham having taken incredible pains to make Lacy, who 
aded the part of Bayes, perfed in imitating the voice and manner of 
Dr)'den, whofe drefc and gait were minutely copied. This perfonal fatire 
was not always performed with impunity. On the ift of February, 1669, 
IV-pys went to the I'heatre Royal to fee the performance of "The 
HeireCs," in whicli it apj^ears that fir Charles Sedley was perfonally 
caricatured, and the fecretary (jf king Charles's admiralty has lelt in hi ; 
diary the following entry : — "To the king's houfe, thinking to have feen 

400 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefque 

the Heyreffe, lirft afted on Saturday, but when we come thither we find 
no play there ; Kynafton, that did a6t a part therein in abufe to fir 
Charles Sedley, being lafl: night exceedingly beaten with flicks by two or 
three that faluted him, fo as he is mightily bruifed, and forced to keep 
nis bed." It is faid that Dryden's comedy of " Limberham," brought 
on the ftage in 1678, was prohibited after the firfl: night, becaufe the 
charadter of Limberham was ccnfidered to be too open a fatire on the 
duke of Lauderdale. 

Another peculiarity in the comedies of the age of the Reftoration was 
their extraordinary indelicacy. The writers feemed to emulate each 
other in prefenting upon the fl:age fcenes and language which no modefl: 
ear or pure mind could fupport. In the earlier period coarfenefs in con- 
verfation was charadteriftic of an unpolilhed age — the language put in 
the mouths of the a6tors, as remarked before, fmelt of the tavern ; but 
under Charles II. the tone of faftiionable fociety, as reprefented on the 
ftage, is modelled upon that of the brothel. Even the veiled allufion is 
no longer reforted to, broad and direft language is fubftituted in its place. 
This open profligac)'^ of the ftage reached its greateft height between the 
years 1670 and t68o. The ftaple material of this comedy may be con- 
fidered to be the commifilon of adultery, which is prefented as one of the 
principal ornaments in the charafler of the well-bred gentleman, varied 
with the feducing of other men's miftrefles, for the keeping of miftreffes 
appears as the rule of focial life. The " Country Wife," one of 
Wycherley's comedies, which is fuppofed to have been brought on the 
ftage perhaps as early as 1672, is a mafs of grofs indecency from beginning 
to end. It involves two principal plots, that of a voluptuary who feigns 
himfelf incapable of love and infenfible to the other fex, in order to 
purfue his intrigues with greater liberty ; and that of a citizen who takes 
to his wife a filly and innocent country girl, whofe ignorance he believes 
will be a prote6tion to her virtue, but the very means he takes to prevent 
her, lead to her fall. The " Parfon's Wedding," by Thomas Killigrew, 
firil a6ted in 1673, is equally licentious. The fame at leaft may be faid of 
Dryden's "Limberham, or the Kind Keeper," firft performed in 1678, 
which, according to the author's own ftatement, was prohibited on account 

in Literature and Art. 40 1 

of its freeneli, but more probably bccaul'e the character of Limberham 
was believed to be intended for a perfonal falire on the unpopular earl of 
Lauderdale. Its plot is limple enough ; it is the liory of a debauched 
old gentleman, named Aldo, whofe fon, atur a rather long ablencc on 
the Continent, returns to England, and aflunies the name of Woodall, in 
order to enjoy freely the pleafures of London life before he makes himfelf 
known to his friends. He takes a lodging in a houfe occupied by fome 
loofe women, and there meets with his father, but, as the latter does not 
recognife his fon, they become friends, and live together licentioully io 
long, that when the fon at length difcovers himfelf, the old man is 
obliged to overlook his vices. Otway's comedy of "Friendlhip in Fafliion," 
performed the fame year, was not a whit more moral. But all thefe are 
far outdone by Ravenfcroft's comedy of "The London Cuckolds," lirft 
brought out in 1682, which, neverthelefs, continued to be aded until late 
in the laft century. It is a clever comedy, full of action, and confifting 
■of a great number of difterent incidents, felefted from liie lefs moral 
tales of the old ftory-tellers as they .nppear in the ''Decameron" of 
Boccaccio, among which that of the ignorant and uneducated young wife, 
fimilar to the plot of Wycherley's " Country Wife," is again introduced. 

The corruption of morals had become fo great, that when women took 
up the pen, they exceeded in licentioufneC* even the other fex, as was 
the cafe with Mrs. Behn. Aphra Behn is underftood to have been born 
at Canterbury, but to have palfed fome part of her youth in the colony 
of Surinam, of which her father was governor. She evidently pclVelVetl 
a difp(jfiii(jn for intrigue, and llic was employed by the Englilh govern- 
ment, a few years after the Relloralion, as a political fpy at Antwerp. 
She fubfequently fettled in London, and gained a living by her pen, which 
was very prolific in novels, poems, and plays. It would be difficult le 
point out in any (Jther works fuch fcenes of open profligacy as tiiole i)re- 
frnttd in Mrs. Behn's two comedies of " Sir Patient Fancy " and " U he 
City Heirefs, or Sir Timothy I'reat-all," which appeared in 1678 ;uhI 
i-^Si. Concealment of the flightell kind is avoided, and even that which 
cannot be expofed to view, is tolerably broadly defcribed. 

It appears that the performance of the "London Cuckolds" had 

I) i> 

402 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

been the caufe of fome fcandal, and there were, even among play-goers, 
fome who took offence at fuch outrages on the ordinary feelings of 
modefty. The excefs of the evil had begun to produce a readion. 
Ravenfcroft, the author of that comedy, produced on the ftage, in 1684, 
a comedy, entitled "Dame Dobfon, or the Cunning Woman," which 
was intended to be a modeft play, but it was unceremonioufly " damned " 
by the audience. The prologue to this new comedy intimates that the 
" London Cuckolds " had pleafed the town and diverted the court, but 
that fome " fqueamiih females " had taken offence at It, and that he had 
now written a " dull, civill " play to make amends. They are addreffed, 
therefore, in fuch terms as thefe : — 

In you, chajie ladies, then ive hope to-day. 

This is the poet''s recantation play. 

Come often to 'f, that he at length may fee 

""Tis more than a pretended modejly. 

Stick by him noiu,for if he Jinds you falter. 

He quickly ivill his ivay of -writing alter ; 

^nd every play Jhall fend you blufhing home. 

For, though you rail, yet then ive'' re fur e you'' II come. 

And it is further intimated, - 

^ naughty play ivas never counted dull — 
Nor modcji comedy e^er pleafed you much. 

"1 remember," fays Colley Cibber in his "Apology," lookmg back to thefe 
times, "I remember the ladies were then obferved to be decently afraid 
of venturing bare-faced to a new comedy, till they had been affured they 
might do it without the rilk of an infult to their modefty ; or if their 
curiofity were too ftrong for their patience, they took care at leaft to fave 
appearances, and rarely came upon the firft days of afting but in mafks 
(then daily worn, and admitted in the pit, the lide boxes, and gallery), 
which cuftom, however, had fo many ill confequences attending it, that it 
has been aboliibed thefe many years." According to the SpcBator, ladies 
began now to defert the theatre when comedies were brought out, except 
thofe who " never mifs the firft day of a new play, left it Ihould prove too 
lufcious to admit of their going with any countenance to the fecond." 

in Literature and Art, 403 

In the midrt of this abufe, there fuddenly appeared a book which 
created at the time a great lenlation. The comedies of the latter half of 
the feventeenth century were not only indecent, but they were filled 
with profane language, and contained fcenes in which religion itfelf was 
treated with contempt. At that time there lived a divine of the Church 
of England, celebrated for his Jacobitifm — for I am now fpeaking of the 
reign of king William — for his talents as a controverfial writer, and for 
his zeal in any caufe which he undertook. This was Jeremy Collier, the 
author of feveral books of fome merit, which are feldom read now, and 
who fuffered for his zeal in the caufe of king James, and for his refufal to 
take the oath of allegiance to king William. In the year 1698 Collier 
publilhed his " Short View of the Immorality and Profanenefs of the 
Englifli ftage," in which he boldly attacked the licentioufnefs of the 
Englilh comedy. Perhaps Collier's zeal carried him a little too far 5 but 
he had offended the wits, and efpecially the dramatic poets, on all (ides, 
and he was expofed to attacks from all quarters, in which Dryden himfelf 
took an adtive part. Collier fhowed himfelf fully capable of dealing with 
his opponents, and the controverfy had the effe6t of calling attention to 
the immoralities of the ftage, and certainly contributed much towards 
reforming them. They were become much lefs frequent and lefs grols at 
the opening of the eighteenth century. 

Towards the end of the reign of king Charles II., the ftage was more 
largely employed as a political agent, and under his fucceflbr, James II., 
the Puritans and the Whigs were conftantly held up to fcorn. After the 
Revolution, the tables were turned, and the latire of the ftage was often 
aimed at Tories and Non-jurors. "The Non-juror," by Colley Cibber, 
which appeared in 1717, at a very opportune moment, gained for its 
author a penfion and the office of poet-laureate. It was founded upon the 
"Tartuft'e ' of Molicre, for the Englilh comedy writers borrowed much 
from the foreign ftage. A difguifed prieft, who pufll's under the name of 
Dr. Wolf, and who had been engaged in the rebellion of 17151 l^'is '"* 
ftnuatcd himfelf into the houfeholdof a gentleman of fortune, of not very 
ftrong judgment, Sir John Woodvil, whom, under the title of a Non-juror, 
he has not only induced to become an abettor of rebels, but he has 

404 HiJIory of Caricature and Grotefque 

perfuaded him to difinherit his fon, and he labours to feduce his wife and 
to deceive his daugliter. His bafenefs is expofed only juft foon enough to 
defeat his defigns. Such a produ6tion as this could not fail to give great 
offence to all the Jacobite party, of whatever Ihade, who were then rather 
numerous in London, and Gibber aflures us that his reward was a con- 
liderable amount of adverfe criticifm in every quarter where the Tory 
influence reached. His comedies were inferior in brilliance of dialogue 
to thofe of the previous age, but the plots were well imagined and 
conduced, and they are generally good afting plays. 

To Samuel Foote, born in 1722, we owe the lall change in the form 

and charafter of Englifli comedy. A man of infinite wit and humour, 

and polTefled of extraordinary talent as a mimic, Foote made mimicry 

the principal inftrument of his fuccefs on the ftage. His plays are above 

all light and amufing; he reduced the old comedy of five a6ts to three 

a6ls, and his plots were ufually fimple, the dialogue full of wit and 

humour 5 but their peculiar chara£teriflic was their open boldnefs of per- 

fonal fatire. It is entirely a comedy of his own. He fought to dire6l 

his wit againfl all the vices of fociety, bat this he did by holding up to 

ridicule and fcorn the individuals who had in fome way or other made 

themfelves notorious by the praftice of them. All his principal chara6ters 

were real chara£lers, who were more or lefs known to the public, and 

who were fo perfeftly mimicked on the ftage in their drefs, gait, and 

fpeech, that it was impoflible to miflake them. Thus, in " The Devil 

upon Two Sticks," which is a general fatire on the low condition to which 

the practice of medicine had then fallen, the perfonages introduced in it 

all reprefented quacks well known about the town. "The Maid of Bath" 

dragged upon the ilage fcandals which were then the talk of Bath fociety. 

The nabob of the comedy which bears that title, had alfo his model 

in real life. "The Bankrupt " may he confidered as a general fatire on 

the bafenefs of the newfpaper prefs of that day. which was made the 

means of propagating private fcandals and libellous accufations in order to 

extort money, yet the charafters introduced are faid to have been all 

portraits from the lite ; and the fame ftatement is made with regard to 

the comedy of " The Author." 

/// Literature and ylrt. a.05 

It is evident that a drama of this inquifitorial chani<5ler is a dangerous 
thing, and that it could hardly be allowed to exift where the rights of 
fociety are properly defined ; and we are not furprifed if Foote provoked 
a hoft of bitter enemies. But in fome cafes the author met with punilh- 
inent of a heavier and more fubftantial defcription. One of the individuals 
introduced into "The Maid of Bath," extorted damages to the amount 
of ^■'3,000. One of the perfons who figured in "The Author," obtained 
an order from the lord chamberlain for putting a ftop to the performance 
after it had had a ihort run ; and the confequences of " I'he Trip to 
Calais," were fiill more difaftrous. It is well known that the charafter of 
lady Kitty Crocodile in that play was a broad caricature on the notorious 
duchefs of Kingfton. Through the treachery of fome of the people 
employed by Foote, the duchefs obtained information of the nature of 
this play before it was ready for reprefentation, and fhe had fuflScient 
influence to obtain the lord chamberlain's prohibition for bringing it on 
the ftage. Nor was this all, for as the play was printed, if not afted, — and 
': -•■■as fubfequently brought out in a modified form, with omillion of the 
pan t.i" '•'''■' Kitty Crocodile, though the chara6ters of fome of her agents 
were ftill retained, — infamous charges were got up againft Foote, in 
retaliation, which caufed him fo much trouble and grief, that they are 
faid to have fhortened his days. 

The drama which Samuel Foote had invented did not outlive him ; 
its caricature was itfclt *ran>iferred to the caricature of the print-fhop. 

4o6 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 







MODERN political caricature, born, as we have ieen, in France, 
maybe confidered to have had its cradle in Holland. The pofition 
of that country, and its greater degree of freedom, made it, in the feven- 
teenth century, the general place of refuge to the political difcon- 
tents of other lands, and efpecially to the French who fled from the 
tyranny of Louis XIV. It poflefled at that time fome of the mod 
lldlful artifts and beft engravers in Europe, and it became the central fpot 
from which were launched a multitude of fatirical prints againft that 
monarch's policy, and againft himfelf and his favourites and minifters. 
This was in a great meafure the caufe of the bitter hatred which Louis 
always difplayed towards that country. He feared the caricatures of the 
Dutch more than their arms, and the pencil and graver of Romain de 
Hooghe were among the moft effedive weapons employed by William of 

The marriage of William with Mary, daughter of the duke of York, 
in 1677, naturally gave the Dutch a greater intereft than they could have 
felt before in the domeftic affairs of Great Britain, and a new Ilimulus to 
their zeal againft Louis of France, or, which was the fame thing, againft 
arbitrary power and Popery, both of which had been rendered odious 
under his name. The acceflion of James II. to the throne of England, 
and his attempt to re-eftablifti Popery, added religious as well as political 
fuel to thefe feelings, for everybody underftood that James was a6ting 

in Literature and Art. 


under the prote6lion of the king of France. The very year of king 
James's acceflion, in 1685, the caricature appeared which we have copied 
in our cut No. 186, and which, ahhough the infcription is in EngUlh, 
appears to have been the work of a foreign artift. It was probably 
iptended to reprefent Mary of Modena, the queen of James II., and her 

No. 186. A Dangerous Confcffor. 

rather famous confelTor, father Pctre, the latter under the character of the 
wolf among the flieep. Its aim is fufficiently evident to need no expla- 
nation. At the top, in the original, are the Latin words, Coiivcrte 
,/Hi,'/ia;H, "convert England," and beneath, in Englilh, "It is a fooiilh 
Iheep that makes the wolf her confeflbr." 

The period during which the Dutch fchool of caricature flouriflied, 
extended through the reign of Louis XIV., and into the regency in 
France, and two great events, tlie revolution of 1688 in England, and the 
wild money fpeculalions of the year 1720, exercifed efpecially the pencils 

4o8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grot efque 

of its caricaturifts. The lirfl of thefe events belongs almoft entirely to< 
Romain de Hooghe. Very little is known of the perfonal hillory of this- 
remarkable artift, but he is believed to have been born towards the middle 
of the feventeenth century, and to have died in the earlier years of the 
eighteenth century. The older French writers on art, who were pre- 
judiced againft Romain de Hooghe for his bitter hoftility to Louis XIV.,. 
inform us that in his youth he employed his graver on obfcene fubjetSls, 
and led a life fo openly licentious, that he was banifhed from his native 
town of Amfterdam, and went to live at Haerlem. He gained celebrity 
by the feries of plates, executed in 1672, which reprefented the horrible 
atrocities committed in Holland by the French troops, and which raifed 
againfl Louis XIV. the indignation of all Europe. It is laid that the 
prince of Orange (William III. of England), appreciating the value of 
his fatire as a political weapon, fecured it in his own interefts by liberally 
patronifing the caricaturlft ; and we owe to Romain de Hooghe a fuccef- 
fion of large prints in which the king of France, his protege James II., 
and the adherents of the latter, are covered with ridicule. One, publiflied 
in 1688, and entitled " Les Monarches Tombants," commemorates the 
flight of the royal family from England. Another, which appeared at the 
fame date, is entitled, in French, " Arlequin fur I'hypogryphe a la croifade 
Loiolifte," and in Dutch, " Armee van de Heylige League voor der 
Jefuiten Monarchy'' (i.e. " the army of the holy league for eftablilhing the 
monarchy of the Jefuits "). Louis XIV. and James II. were reprefented 
under the chara6ters of Arlequin and Panurge, who are feated on the 
animal here called a " hypogryphe," but which is really a wild afs. The 
two kings have their heads joined together under one Jefuit's cap. 
Other figures, forming part of this army of Jefuitifm, are diftributed over 
the field, the moft grotefque of which is that given in our cut No. 187. 
Two p^rfonages introduced in fome ridiculous pofition or other, in moft 
of thefc caricatures, are father Petre, the Jefuit, and the infant prince of 
Wales, afterwards the old Pretender. It was pretended that this infant 
was in fa6t the child of a miller, fecretly introduced into the queen's bed 
concealed in a warming-pan ; and that this ingenious plot was contrived 
by father Petre. Hence the boy was popularly called Peterkin, or 

in Literature and Art. 


Perkin, i.e. little Peter, which was the name given afterwards to ttie 
Pretender in longs and latires at the time of his rebellion; and in the 
prints a windmill was ufually given to the child as a fign of its father's 
trade. In the group reprefented in our cut, father Petre, with the child 
in his arms, is feated on a rather fingular fteed, a lob(ver. The voung. 

No. it-]. A Jefuit ivell Mounted. 

prince here carries the windmill on liis head. On the lubtler's back^ 
behind the Jefuit, are carried the papal crown, furmounted by a fleur-de- 
lis, with a bundle of relics, indulgences, &c., and it has feized in one claw 
the Englifh church fervice book, and in the other the book of the laws of 
England. In the Dutch defcription of this print, the child is called " the 
new born Antichrift." Another of Romain de Hooghe's prints, entitled 
" Panurge feconde par Arlequin Deodaat a la croifade d'Irlande, 1689," 
is a latire on king James's expedition to Ireland, which led to the memo- 
rable battle of the Boyne. James and his friends are proceeding to the 
place of embarkation, and, as reprefented in our cut No. 188, father 
Petrc marches in front, carrying the infant prince in his arms. 

The drawing of Romain de Hooghe is not always correft, efpecially 
in his larger fubje6t.s, which perhaps may be afcribed to his hally and 
carclefs manner of working; but he difplays great Ikill in grouping his 
f/j^urcs, and great power in inverting them with a large amount of fatirical 

4 1 o Hijiory of Caricature and GroteJ'que 

humour. Moft of the other caricatures of the time are poor both in 
delign and execution. Such is the cafe with a vulgar fatirical print 
which was publiflied in France in the autumn of 1690, on the arrival of 
a falfe rumour that king "William had been killed in Ireland. In the 

No. 188. Off to Ireland. 

field of the pi6ture the corpfe of the king is followed by a proceffion con- 
fifting of his queen and the principal fupporters of his caufe. The lower 
corner on the left hand is occupied by a view of the interior of the 
infernal regions, and king William introduced in the place allotted to him 
among the flames. In different parts of the pifture there are feveral infcrip- 
tions, all breathing a fpirit of very infolent exultation. One of them is 
the — 

Billet d^Enterrement. 
Vous estes priez d'assister au convoy, service, et enterrement du tres haut, tres 
grand, et tres infame Prince infernal, grand stadouter, des Armes diaboliques de la 
ligue d'Ausboupcr, et insigne usiirpateur des Royaumes d'Angleterre, d'Eccosse, 
et d'Irlande, decide dans Tlrlandeau mois d'Aoust 1690, qui se fera ledit mois,dans 
sa paroisse infernale, ou assisteront Dame Proserpine, Radamonte, et Jes Ligueurs. 
Les Dames kii diront s'il leur plaist des injures. 

The prints executed in England at this time were, if poflible, worfe 
than thofe publiflied in France. Almoft the only contemporary caricature 
on the downfall of the Stuarts that I know, is an ill-executed print, pub' 

in Literature and Art. 4 1 i 

lifhed immediately after the accellion of William III., under the title, 
" England's Memorial of its wondertui deliverance from French Tyranny 
and Popifh Opprellion." The middle of the pidure is occupied by " the 
royal orange tree," which flourifhes in fpite of all the attempts to deftroy 
it. At the upper corner, on the left fide, is a reprefentation of the French 
king's " council," confifting of an equal number of Jefuits and devils, 
feated alternately at a round table. 

The circumllance that the titles and infcriptions of nearly all thefe 
caricatures are in Dutch, feems to Ihow that their influence was intended 
to be exercifed in Holland rather than elfewhere. In two or three only 
of them thefe defcriptions were accompanied with tranflations in Englifli 
or French ; and after a time, copies of them began to be made in England, 
accompanied with Englilh defcriptions. A curious example of this is 
given in the fourth volume of the " Poems on State Affairs," printed m 
1707. In the prefice to this volume the editor takes occafion to inform 
the reader — "That having procur'd from beyond fea a Colledion ot 
Satyrical Prints done in Holland and elfewhere, by Rom. de Hoog, and 
other the beft mafters, relating to the French King and his Adherents, 
lince he unjultly begun this war, 1 have perfuaded the Bookfeller to be at 
the expenfe of ingraving feveral of them 3 to each of which I have given 
the Explanation in Englifli verfe, they being in Dutch, French, or Latin 
in the originals." Copies of feven of thefe caricatures are accordingly 
given at the end of the volume, which are certainly inferior in every 
refpett to thofe of the beft period of Romain de Hooghe. One of them 
commemorates the eclipfe of the fun on the 12th of May, 1706. The 
fun, as it might be conjedured, is Louis XIV., eclipfed by queen Anne, 
whofe face occupies the place of the moon. In the foreground of the 
pidure, juft under the eclipfe, the queen is feated on her throne under a 
canopy, furrounded by her counfellors and generals. With her left arm 
flie holds d(jwn the Gallic cock, while with the other hand flic clips one 
of its wings (fee our cut No. 189). In the upper corner on the right, i> 
inferted a pidure of the battle of Raniillies, and in the lower corner on 
the left, a fea-fight under admiral Leake, both vidories gained in that 
yeqr. Another of thefe copies of foreign prints is given in our cu' 

4 1 2 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

No. 190. We are told that " thefe figures reprefent a French trumpet 
and drum, fent by Louis le Grand to enquire news of leveral citys loft by 
the Mighty Monarch laft campaign." The trumpeter holds in his hand 
a lift of loft towns, and another is pinned to the breaft of the drummer j. 

No, 189. Clipping the CocFs fVwgs. 

the former lift is headed by the names of " Gaunt, Brufl!els, Antwerp, 
Bruges," the latter by " Barcelona." 

The firft remarkable outburft of caricatures in England was caufed 
by the proceedings againft the notorious Dr. Sacheverell in 1 710. It 
is fomewhat curious that Sacheverell's partifans fpeak of caricatures 
as things brought recently from Holland, and new in England, and 
afcribe the ufe of them as peculiar to the Whig party. The writer of a 
pamphlet, entitled " The Pifture of Malice, or a true Account of Dr. 
Sacheverell's Enemies, and their behaviour with regard to him," informs 
us that " the chief means by which all the lower order of that fort of 
men call'd Whigs, ftiall ever be found to aft for the ruin of a potent 
adverfary, are the following three — by the Print, the Canto or Doggrell 
Poem, and by the Libell, grave, calm, and cool, as the author of the 
'True Anfwer ' defcribes it. Thefe are not all employed at the fame 

in Literature and Art. 


time, any more than the ban and arierban of a kingdom is railed, unlels 
to make fare work, or in cafes of great exigency and imminent danger." 
" The Print," he goes on to fay, " is originally a Dutch talifman (be- 
<liieathed to the ancient Batavians by a certain Chinefe necromancer and 

A'c. 190. Trumpet and Drum. 

painter), with a virtue far exceeding that of the Palladium, not onlv of 
guarding their cities and provinces, but alfo of annoying their enemies, 
and preferving a due balance amongft the neighbouring powers around." 
This writer warms up fo much in his indignation againll this new wrapcni 
of the Whigs, that he breaks out in blank verfe to tell us how eviii ilic 
myfterious power of the magician did not deftroy its vidims — 

Sivifter than heretofore the Print effaced 
The pomp of mightieji monarchi, and dcthron'd 
The dread idea of royal majefty ; 
Dwindling the prince beluiu the pigmy fize. 

414 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

PF~itnefs the once Great Louts In youthful pride ^ 
jind Charles of happy days, ivho both confefj^d 
The magic poioer of mezzotinto * Jhade, 
And form grotefque, in manifejloes loud 
Denouncing death to boor and hurgomafler. 
IVitnejs, ye facred popes ivith triple crotun. 
Who likezvife ■viliims fell to hideous print. 
Spurn'' d by the populace ivho luhilome lay 
Prcjirate, and e-vn adored before your thrones. 

We are' then told that '' this, if not the firft, has yet been the chief 
machine which his enemies have employ'd againft the do6tor ; they have 

"No. 191. The Three Falfe Brethren. 

expofed him in the fame piece with the pope and the devil, and who 
now could imagine that any fimple prieft fliould be able to ftand before a 
power which had levelled popes and monarchs ? " At leafl; one copy of 
the caricature here alluded to is preferved, although a great rarity, and it 
is reprefented in our cut No. 191. Two of the party remained long 

* The method of engraving called mezzotinto was very generally adopted in 
England in the earlier part of the last century for prints and caricatures. It was 
coDtinued to rather a late period by the publishing house of Carrington Bowles. 

/";/ Literature and Art. 


alibciated together in the popular outcry, and as the name of the third 
fell into contempt and oblivion, the dodor's place in this alibciation was 
taken by a new caufe of alarm, the Pretender, the child whom we have 
juft feen fo joyoully brandilhing his windmill. It is evident, however, 
that this caricature greatly exalperated Sacheverell and the party which 
fupported him. 

It will have been noticed that the writer jull quoted, in ufing the term 
" print," ignores altogether that of caricature, which, however, was about 
this time beginning to come into ufe, although it is not found in the 
dictionaries, I beheve, until the appearance of that of Dr. Johnfon, in 
1755. Caricature is, of courfe, an Italian word, derived from the verb 
caricare, to charge or load ; and therefore, it means a piiSture which is 
charged, or exaggerated (the old French didionaries fay, " c'eji la viemc 
chofe que charge en peinture "). The word appears not to have come into 
ufe in Italy Qntil the latter half of the feventeenth centur)-, and the 
earlieft inftance I know of its employment by an Englilh writer is that 
quoted by Johnfon from the " Chriltian Morals " of Sir Thomas Brown, 
who died in 1682, but it was one of his latctl writings, and was not 
printed till long after his death : — " Expofe not thyfelf by four-footed 
manners unto monftrous draughts {i.e. drawings) and caricatura reprefen- 
tations." This very quaint writer, who had palled Ibme time in Italy, 
evidently ufes it as an exotic word. We find it next employed by the 
writer of the ElTay No. 537, of the " Spectator," who, fpeaking of the 
way in which different people were led by feelings of jealouly and preju- 
dice to detradt from the charaders of others, goes on to fay, " From all 
thefe bands we have fuch draughts of mankind as are reprefented in thole 
burlefque pictures which the Italians call caricaturas, where the art 
confills in preferving, amidll dillorled proportions and aggravated features, 
fome diftinguilhiiig likenefs of the perfon, but in fuch a manner as to 
transform the moll agreeable beauty into the moll odious monller." The 
word was not fully ellablilhed in our language in its Englilh form of 
caricature until late in the laft century. 

The fubjed of agitation which produced a greater number of carica- 
tures than any previous event was the wild financial fchenie introduced 

41 6 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

into France by the Scottifh adventurer, Law, and imitated in England in 
the great South Sea Bubble. It would be impoflible here, within our 
neceflary limits, to attempt to trace the hiftory of thefe bubbles, which all 
burft in the courfe of the year 1720 5 and, in fa6l, it is a hiflory of which 
few are ignorant. On this, as on former occafions, the great mafs of the 
caricatures, efpecially thofe againfi: the Milliliippi fcheme, were executed 
in Holland, but they are much inferior to the works of Remain de Hooghe. 

No. 192. Adai. 

In fa6t, lb great was the demand for thefe caricatures, that the publifhers, 
in their eagernefs for gain, not only deluged the world with plates by 
artifts of no talent, which were without point or intereft, but they took old 
plates of any fubjedl in which there was a multitude of figures, put new 
titles to them, and publiflied them as fatires on the Mifliflippi fcheme ; 
for people were ready to take anything which reprefented a crowd 
as a fatire on the eagernefs with which Frenchmen rufhed into the 

in Literature a?ui Art. 417 

ihare-market. One or two curious inftances of this deception might be 
pointed out. Thus, an old pi6ture, evidently intended to reprefent the 
meeting of a king and a nobleman, in the court of a palace, (urrounded 
by a crowd of courtiers, in the coftume probably of the time of Henri IV., 
was republilhed as a picture of people crowding to the grand fcene of 
Itock-jobbing in Paris, the Rue Quinquenpoix ; and the old picture of the 
battle between Carnival and Lent came out again, a little re-touched, 
under the Dutch title, " Stryd tufzen dc fmuUende Bubbel-Heeren en de 
aanftaande Armoede," i.e., " The battle between the good-living bubble- 
lords and approaching poverty." 

Befides being ilTued fingly, a confiderable number of thefe prints \ven> 
colle6ted and publillied in a volume, which is ftill met with not unfre- 
(juently, under the title " Het groote Tafereel der Dwaallieid," "The 
great pifture of folly." One of this fet of prints reprefents a multitude 
of perfons, of all ages and fexes, afting the part of Atlas in fupporting on 
their backs globes, which, though made only of paper, had become, 
through the agitation of the flock exchange, heavier than gold. Law 
himfelf (fee our cut No. 192) ftands foremoft, and requires the afliftance 
of Hercules to fupport his enormous burthen. In the French verfes 
accompanying this print, the writer fays — 

Ami yiilai, on -volt {fam center voui et mot) 
Faire r Atlai partcut des divers ferjonnages, 
Riche, pawvre, homme,femme, et Jot et quafi-fage. 
Valet, et paifan, le gueux fele-ve en roi. 

Another of thefe caricatures reprefents Law in the chara6ter of Don 
Quixote, riding upon Sancho's donkey. He is haftening to his Dulcinia, 
who waits for him in the a&ie huis (a6tion or (hare-houfe), towards which 
j)eople are dragging the animal on which he is seated. The devil (fee 
our cut No. 193), fits behind Law, and holds up the afs's tail, while a 
Ihowcr of paper, in the form of fhares in companies, is fcatlered around, 
and fcrambled for by the eager aSionnaires. In front, the animal is 
laden with the money into which this paper has been turned, — the box 
bears the infcription, " Bomlarioos GMkiJl, 1720," " Bombario's (Law's) 
gf)ld cheft ;" and the flag bears the infcription, " Ik koorn, ik koom, Dul- 

4 1 8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

cinia," " I come, I come, Dulcinia." The beft, perhaps, of this lot of 
caricatures is a large engraving by the well-known Picart, inferted among 
the Dutch colle6tion with explanations in Dutch and French, and which 
was re-engraved in London, with Englifli defcriptions and applications. 

No. 193. T^e Don Sluixote of Finance. 

It is a general fatire on the madnefs of the memorable year 1720. Folly 
appears as the charioteer of Fortune, whofe car is drawn by the reprefen- 
tatives of the numerous companies which had fprung up at this time, 
moll of which appear to be more or lefs unfound. Many of thefe agents 
have the tails of foxes, " to lliow their policy and cunning," as the explana- 
tion informs us. The devil is feen in the clouds above, blowing bubbles 
of foap, which mix with the paper which Fortune is diftributing to the 
crowd. The pifture is crowded with figures, fcattered in groups, who 
are employed in a variety of occupations connefted with the great folly of 
the day, one of which, as an example, is given in our cut No. 194. It is 
a transfer of flock, made through the medium of a Jew broker. 

in Literature and Art. 


It was in this bubble agitation that the En<;lilh Ichool of caricature began, 
and a few fpecimens are prefer\ed, though others which are ;ul\ertiliHl in 
the newfpapers of that day, feeni to be entirely lo<h In fad, a very 
confiderable portion of the caricature literature o\ a jien k1 fo compara- 
tively recent as the firlt half of the Lift century, appears to have perilhedj 

No. 194. Transfer of St(,ck. 

for the intercft of thefe pruUs was in general fo entirely temporary that 
few people took any care to preferve them, and few of them were very 
attradive as pidlures. As yet, indeed, thele Englilli prints are but poor 
imitations of the works of Picart and other continental artifts. A pair of 
Englilli prints, entitled " The Bubbler's Mirrour," reprefents, one a head 
joyful at the rife in the value of ftock, the other, a fimilar head forrowful 
at its fall, furrounded in each cafe witli lifis of companies and epigrams 
upon them. They are engraved in mezzotinto, a ftylc of art fuppofed to 
have been invented in England — its invention was afcribed to Prince 
Rupert — and at this time very popular. In tlir imprint of thefe lali- 
mentioncd plates, we are informed that they were " Printed for Carington 
iiowles, next y* Chapter Houfe, in St. Paul's Ch. Yard, London," a well- 
known name in former years, and even now one quite familiar to col- 
ledtors, of this clafs of prints, efpecially. , Of Carington Bowles we Hiall 
have more to fay in the next chapter. With him begins the long lill of 
celebrated Englifli printfellers. 

42 o Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefaue 





WITH the accefliori of George II. , the tafte for political caricatures, 
increafed greatly, and they had become almoft a neceffity of focial 
life. At this time, too, a dillinft Englilh fchool of political caricature had 
been eftablilhed, and the print-fell-ers became more numerous, and took 
a higher pofition in the commerce of literature and art. Among the 
earlieft of thefe printfellers the name of Bowles ftands efpecially con- 
fpicuous. Hogarth's burlefque on the Beggar's Opera, publiflied in 1728^ 
was "■ printed for John Bowles, at the Black Horfe, in Cornhill." Some 
copies of "King Henry the Eighth and Anna Bullen," engraved by the fame 
great artifl. in the following year, bear the imprint of John Bowles ; and 
others were " printed for Robert Wilkinfon, Cornhill, Carington Bowles, 
in St. Paul's Church Yard, and R. Sayer, in Fleet Street." Hogarth's 
" Humours of Southwark Fair " was alfo publifhed, in 1733, by Carington 
and John Bowles. This Carington Bowles was, perhaps, dead in 1755, 
for in that year the caricature entitled " Britifh Refentment " bears the 
imprint, *' Printed for T. Bowles, in St. Paul's Church Yard, and Jno, 
Bowles & Son, iti Cornhill." John Bowles appears to have been the 
brother of the firlt Carington Bowles in St. Paul's Churchyard, and a fon 
named Carington fucceeded to that bufinefs, which, under him and his 
fon Carington, and then as the etlablilhment of Bowles and Carver, has 
continued to exift within the memory of the prefent generation. Another 
very celebrated printlhop was ellablilhed in Fleet Street by Thomas 

/// Literature a fid Art. 421 

Overton, probably as far back as the dole of the feventeenth centurj-. 
On his death liis bufinefs was piirchaled by Robert Sayers, a mezzotinto 
engraver of merit, whofe name appears as joint pubUllier of a print by 
Hogarth in 1729. Overton is faid to have been a peffonal friend of 
Hogarth. Sayers was fucceeded in the bufuiels by liis pnpil in mezzo- 
tinto engraving, named Laurie, from whom it defcended to his fon, 
Robert H. Laurie, known in city pohtics, and it became fublequently the 
firm of Laurie and Whittle. This bufinefs ftill exifts at 53, Fleet Street, 
the oldeft eliablilhment in London for the publication of maps and prints. 
During the reign of the fecond George, the number of publilhers of 
caricatures increafed confiderably, and among others, we meet with the 
names of J. Smith, " at Hogarth's Head, Cheapfide," attached to a 
caricature publilhed Auguft, 17^65 Edwards and Darly, "at the Golden 
Acorn, facing Hungerford, Strand," who alfo publilhed caricatures during 
the years 1756-7; caricatures and burlefque prints were publilhed by 
G, Bickham, May's Buildings, Covent Garden, and one, direded againft 
the employment of foreign troops, and entitled " A Nurfe lor the 
Heflians," is ftated to have been " I'old in May's Buildings, Covent 
Garden, where is 50 more ;'' "The Raree Show," publilhed in 1762, was 
" fold at Sumpter's Political Print-fliop, Fleet Street," and many carica- 
tures on contemporary coftumc, efpecially on the Macaronis, about the 
year 1772, were "publilhed by T. Bowen, oppofite the Haymarket, 
Piccadilly." Sledge, " printfeller, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden," is 
alfo met with about the middle of the laft century. Among other 
burlefque prints, Bickham, of May's Buildings, ilTued a feries of figures 
reprefenting the various trades, made up of the different tools, &c., ufed 
by each. The houfe of Carington Bowles, in St. Paul's Churchyard, 
produced an immenfe number of caricatures, during the laft century and 
the prefent, and of the moft varied character, but they confifted more ot 
comic fcenes of fociety than of political fubje6Ls, and many of them were 
engraved in mezzotinto, and rather highly coloured. Among them were 
caricatures on the fafliions and foibles of the day, amufing accidents and 
incid«'nts, common occurrences of life, characters, &c., and they are 
frequently aimed at lawyers anel prierts, and < rperi;illy at moisks and 


Tlijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

friars, for the anti-Catholic feehng was llrong in the laft century. 
J. Brotherton, at No. 132, New Bond Street, publifhed many of Bun- 
bury"s caricatures 3 while the houfe of Laurie and Whittle gave employ- 
ment efpecially to the Cruikfhanks. But perhaps the moll extenfive 
publifher of caricatures of them all was S. W. Fores, who dwelt firft at 
No. 3, Piccadilly, but afterwards eftablillied himfelf at No. 50, the corner 
of Sackvilie Street, where the name ftill remains. Fores feems to have 
been moll fertile in ingenious expedients for the extenlion of his bufinels. 
He formed a fort of library of caricatures and other prints, and charged 
for admiffion to look at them 5 and he afterwards adopted a fyftem of 
lending them out in portfolios for evening parties, at which thefe port- 
folios of caricatures became a very fafhionable amufement in the latter 
part of the laft century. At times, fome remarkable curiofity was em- 
ployed to add to the attraftions of his Ihop. Thus, on caricatures pub- 
lilhed in 1790, we find the ftatement that, "In Fores' Caricature Mufeum 
is the completeft colledion in the kingdom. Alfo the head and hand of 
Count Struenxee. Admittance, 15." Caricatures againft the French 
revolutionifts, publifhed in 1793, bear imprints flating that they were 
" publillied by S. W. Fores, No. 3, Piccadilly, where may be feen a 
complete Model of the Guillotine — admittance, one fhilling." In fome 
this model is faid to be fix feet high. 

Among the artifts employed by the print-publifhers of the age ol 
George II., we flill find a certain number of foreigners. Coypel, who 
caricatured the opera in the days of Farinelli, and pirated Hogarth, 
belonged to a dillinguifhed family of French painters. Goupy, who alfc 
caricatured the artijtes of the opera (in 1727), and Boitard, who worked 
aftively for Carington Bowles from 1750 to 1770, were alfo Frenchmen. 
Liotard, another caricaturift of the time of George II., was a native of 
Geneva. The names of two others, Vandergucht and Vanderbank, pro- 
claim them Dutchmen. Among the Englifli caricaturills who worked 
for the houfe of Bowles, were George Bickham, the brother of the print- 
feller, John Collet, and Robert Dighton, with others of lefs repute, 
R. Attwold, who publillied caricatures againft admiral Byng in 1750, was 
an imitator of Hogarth. Among the more obfcure caricaturifts of the 

/;; Literature and Art. 423 

latter part of the half-century, were MacArdell — whofe print of " The 
Park Shower," reprefenting the confulion railed among the filliionabie 
company in the Mall in St. James's Park by a fudden fall of rain, is fa 
well known — and Darley. Paul Sandby, who was patronifed by the duke 
of Cumberland, executed caricatures upon Hogarth. Many of thefe artifts 
of the earlier period of the Englilli fchool of caricature appear to have 
been very ill paid — the firll of the family of Bowles is faid to have boafted 
that he bought many of the plates for little more than their value as 
metal. The growing tafte for caricature had alfo brought forward a 
number of amateurs, among whom were the countefs of Burlington, and 
general, afterwards marquis, Townfhend. The former, who was the lady 
of that earl who built Burlington Houfe, in Piccadilly, was the leader of 
one of the fadions in the opera difputes at the clofe of the reign of 
George I., and is underftood to have defigned the well-known caricature 
'upon Cuzzoni, Farinelli, and Heidegger, which was etched by Goupy, 
whom flie patronifed. It niuft not be forgotten that Bunbury himfelf, as 
well as Sayers, were amateurs ; and among other amateurs I may name 
captain Minlhull, captain Baillie, and John Nixon. The rirft of thefe 
publilhed caricatures againft the Macaronis (as the dandies of the earlier 
part of the reign of George HI. were called), one of which, entitled "The 
Macaroni Dreirmg-Room," was efpecially popular. 

Englifh political caricature came into its full aAivity with the miniflry 
of lir Robert Walpole, which, beginning in 1721, lalted through the long 
period of twenty years. In the previous period the Whigs were accufed 
of having invented caricature, but now the Tories certainly took the 
utmoft advantage of the invention, for, during feveral years, the greater 
number of the caricatures which were publilhed were aimed againll thu 
Whig rainiftry. It is alfo a rather remarkable charafteriflic of fociety at 
this period, that the ladies took fo great an intereft in politics, that the 
caricatures were largely introduced upon fans, as well as upon other 
objeds of an equally pcrfonal character. Moreover, the popular notion of 
what conftituted a caricature was ftill fo little fixed, that they were ufually 
called hieroglyphics, a term, indeed, which was not ill applied, for they 
wwe fo elaborate, and fo filled with n)yftical allufions, that now it is by 

424 Hijlory of Caricature ajid Grotefque 

no means eafy to underfland or appreciate them. Towards the year 
1739, there was a marked improvement in the political caricatures — they 
were better defigned, and difplayed more talent, but flill they required 
rather long delcriptions to render them intelligible. One of the moft 
celebrated was produced by the motion in the Houfe of Commons, 
Feb. 13, 1741, againft. the minifter Walpole. It was entitled "The 
Motion/' and was a Whig fatire upon the oppolition, who are reprefented 

iVo. 195. A Party of Mourners, 

as driving lb hurriedly and inconfiderately to obtain places, that they are 
overthrown before they reach their objeft. The party of the oppolition 
retaliated by a counter-caricature, entitled, " The Reafon," which was in 
fome refpe6ts a parody upon the other, to which it was inferior in point 
and fpirit. At the fimie time appeared another caricature againft the 
miniftry, under the title of " The Motive." Thefe provoked another. 

in Literature and Art, 


entitled, " A Confequence of the Motion ;" which was followed the day 
after its publication by another caricature upon the oppofition, entitled, 
"The Political Libertines; or, Motion upon Motion;" while tlie oppo- 
nents of the government alfo brought out a caricature, entitled, "The 
Grounds," a violent and rather grofs attack upon the Whigs. Among 
other caricatures publifl-ied on this occafion, one of the beft was entitled, 
"The Funeral of Fadion," and bears the date of March 26, 1741. 
Beneath it are the words, "Funerals performed by Squire S s," allud- 
ing to Sandys, who was the motion-maker in the Houfe of Commons, 
and who thus brought on his party a lignal defeat. Among the chief 
mourners on this occafion are feen the oppofition journals. The Craftsman, 
the creation of Bolingbroke and Pulteney, the ftill more fcurrilous 

No. 196. BrU'ifh Rejenlmint. 

Chnnipion, Tlw Daily Pajl, The London and Evening Pojt, and lite Common 
Senfe Journal. This mournful group is reproduced in our cut No. sg^. 

P'rom this time there was no falling oft' in the fupply of caricatures, 
which, on the contrary, feemed to incre<il"e every year, until the adivily 
of the pidtorial fatirifts was roufed anew by the hoflilitics with France in 

426 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

1755, and the minifterial intrigues of the two following years. The war, 
accepted by the Englifh government reluttantly, and ill prepared for, was 
the fubjeft of much difcontent, although at firft hopes were given of great 
fuccels. One of the caricatures, publilhed in the middle of thefe early 
hopes, at a time when an Englilh fleet lay before Louitbourg, in Canada, 
is entitled, " Britilh Refentment, or the French fairly coop'd at Louif- 
bourg," and came from the pencil of the French artift Boitard. One of 
its groups, reprefenting the courageous Englifh failor and the defpairing 
Frenchman, is given in our cut No. 196, and may ferve as an example 
of Boitard's ftyle of drawing. It became now the fafhion to print 
political caricatures, in a diminiflied form, on cards, and feventy-five ol 
thefe were formed into a fmall volume, under the title of "A Political 
and Satirical Hiltory of the years 1756 and 1757. In a feries of feventy- 

iVb. 197. Britannia in a New Drejs. 

five humorous and entertaining Prints, containing all the moft remarkable 
Tranfadlions, Charafters, and Caricaturas of thofe two memorable 
years. . . . London : printed for E. Morris, near St. Paul's." The im- 
prints of the plates, which bear the dates of their feveral publications, 
inform us that they catn« from the well-known fliop of "Darly and 
Edwards, at the Acorn, facing Hungerford, Strand.." Thefe caricatures 
begin with our foreign relations, and exprefs the belief that the minifters 
were facrificing Englifli interefls to French influence. In one of them 

in Lit era til re and Art. 


(our cut No. 197), entitled, "England made odious, or the French 
Dreirers," the minifler, Newcaftle, in the garb of a woman, and his 
colleague. Fox, have drelVed Britannia in a new French robe, which does 
not lit her. She exclaims, " Let me have my own cloathes. I cannot 
ftir my arms in thefe ; befides, everybody laughs at me." Newcaftle 
replies, rather imperioufly, " HulFy, be quiet, you have no need to ftir 
your arms — why, lure! what's here to dor" While Fox, in a more 
iniinuating tone, otlers her a fluur-de-lis, and lays, " Here, madam, lUck 

No. 198. Caught by a Bait. 

this in your bofom, next your heart." The two pi6tures which adorn the 
walls of the room reprefent an axe and a halter; and underneath we read 
the lines, — 

jlnd fhall the fuhftituttt of fviver 

Our geniui thus bedeck ? 
Let them remember there^s an hour 

Of quittance — then, ivare neck. 

lu another print of this feries, this lall idea is illuftrated more fully. It 
is aimed at the minifters, who were believed to be enriching themfelves 
at the expenfe of the nation, and is entitled, " The Devil turned Bird- 
catcher." On one fide, while P'ox is greedily fcrambling for the gold, 
the fiend has caught him in a halter fufpended to the gallows j on the 
other fide another demon is letting down the fatal axe on Newcaftle, 
^ho is fimilarly employed. The latter (fee our cut No. 198) is defcribed 

428 Hifiory of Caricature a?td Grotefque 

as a " Noddy catching at the bait, while the bird-catcher lets drop an 
axe." This implement of execution is a perfe6t pidure of a guillotine, 
long before it was fo notorioufly in ufe in France. 

The third example of thefe caricatures which I fliall quote is entitled 
" The Idol," and has for its fubjeft the extravagancies and perfonal jealou- 
lies connected with the Italian opera. The rivalry between Mingotti and 
Vannefchi was now making as much noife there as that uf Cuzzoni and 

Britijh Idolatry. 

Fauftina fome years before. The former a6ted arbitrarily and capricioufly, 
and could with difficulty be bound to fing a few times during the feafon 
for a high falary : it is faid, £1,000 for the feafon. In the caricature to 
which I allude, this lady appears raifed upon a ftool, infcribed "^2,000 
per annum," and is receiving the worlhip of her admirers. Immediately 
before her an ecclefiaftic is feen on his knees, exclaiming, "Unto thee be 
praife now and for evermore ! " In the background a lady appears, hold- 
ing up her pug-dog, then the fafliionable pet, and addrefTmg the opera 
favourite, " 'Tis only pug and you I love." Other men are on their 
knees behind the ecclefiaftic, all perfons of diftindion ; and laft comes a 
nobleman and his lady, the former holding in his hand an order for 
.^2,000, his fubfcription to the opera, and remarking, "We fliall have but 

/// Literature and Art, 


twelve fongs for all this money." The lady replies, with an air of con- 
tempt, "Well, and enough too, for the paltry trifle." The idol, in return 
for all this homage, fings rather ccntemptuouily — 

/?j, ra, rj, rot ye. 
My name is Mwgotti, 
J/ you ivor/hif> me notri, 
Tou Jhall all go to potti. 

Tlie clofing years of the reign of George II., under the vigorous 
adminiflration of the firft William Pitt, witnelfed a calm in the domeftic 
politics of the country, which prefented a (Irange contrail to the agita- 
tion of the previous period. Faftion feemed to have hidden its head, and 
there was comparatively little employment for the caricaturift. But this 
calm lafted only a fhort time after that king's death, and the new reign 
was uftiered in by indications of approaching 
political agitation of the moft violent defcrip- 
tion, in which fatirifts who had hitherto con- 
tented themfelves with other fubje6ls were 
tempted to embark in the ftrife of politics. 
Amons: thefe was Hojrarth, whofe difcom- 
forts as a political caricaturift we fliall have 
to defcribe in our next chapter. 

Perhaps no name ever provoked a greater 
amount of caricature and fatirical abufe than 
that of Lord Bute, who, through the favour 
of the Princefs of Wales, ruled fupreme at 
court during the firft period of the reign of 
George III. Bute had taken into the 
miniftry, as his confidential colleague. Fox 
— the Henry Fox who became fubfequently 
the firft Lord Holland, a man who had en- 
riched himfelf enormoully with the money of 
the nation, and thefe two appeared to be 

, /I , 1/1 /- 1 • 1^0- lOO- Fox on Boots. 

amiing at the eftabliihment 01 arbitrary power 

inahe place of conftituiional government. Fox was ufually reprcfented in 

430 HiJIory of Caricature and Grotefque 

the caricatures with the head and tail of the animal reprefented by his 
name rather ftrongly developed ; while Bute was drawn, as a very bad pun 
upon his name, in the garb of a Scotchman, wearing two large boots, or 
fometimes a fingle boot of ftill greater magnitude. In thefe caricatures Bute 
and Fox are generally coupled together. Thus, a little before the refigna- 
tion of the duke of Newcallle in 1762, there appeared a caricature entitled 
" The State Nurfery," in which the various members of the miniflry, as it 
was then formed under Lord Bute's influence, are reprefented as engaged 
in childifli games. Fox, as the whipper-in of parliamentary majorities, is 
riding, armed with his whip, on Bute's Ihoulders (fee our cut No. 200), 
while the duke of Newcaflle performs the more menial fervice of rocking 
the cradle. In the rhymes which accompany this caricature, the firft of thefe 
groups is defcribed as follows (Fox was commonly fpoken of in fatire by 
the title of Volpone) — 

Firjl you fee old Jlj Vol[>one-y, 
Riding on the /boulders hraivny 
Of the muckle fa-uourite Sa-wny ; 
Doodle, doodle, doo. 

The number of caricatures publifhed at this period was very great, 
and they were almofi: all aimed in one direftion, againft Bute and Fox, 
the Princefs of Wales, and the government they direfted. Caricature, 
at this time, ran into the leaft difguifed licence, and the coarfeft allufions 
were made to the fuppofed fecret intercourfe between the minifter and 
■the Princefs of Wales, of which perhaps the moft harmlefs was the addi- 
tion of a petticoat to the boot, as a fymbol of the influence under which 
the country was governed. In mock proceflions and ceremonies a 
Scotchman was generally introduced carrying the ftandard of the boot 
and petticoat. Lord Bute, frightened at the amount of odium whicli 
was thus heaped upon him, fought to ftem the torrent by employing 
fatirifts to defend the government, and it is hardly neceflTary to ftate that 
among thefe mercenary auxiliaries was the great Hogarth himfelf, who 
accepted a penfion, and publiflied his caricature entitled, "The Times, 
Nov. I," in the month of September, 1762. Hogarth did not excel in 
political caricature, and there was little in this print to diftinguifli it above 

in Literature and Ai't. 


the ordinary publications of a finiilar charadcr. It was the moment ot 
negotiations tor Lord Bute's unpopular peace, and Hogarth's latire is 
direded againfr the foreign policy of the great ex-minifter I'itt. Jt 
reprefents Europe in a Itate of general conflagration, and the flames 
already communicating to Great Britain. While Pitt is blowing the fire, 
Bute, with a party of foldiers and failors zealoufty aflifted by his favourite 
Scotchmen, is labouring to extinguifli it. In this he is impeded by the 
interference of the duke of Ncwcaflle, w ho brings a wheelbarroA' full of 
Monitors and North Britons, the violent oppofition journals, to feed the 

No. 201. Fanatkifm in another Shape. 

flames. The advocacy of Bute's mercenaries, whether literary or artillic, 
did little fervice to the government, for they only provoked increafed 
a6tivity among its opponents. Hogarth's caricature of " The Times," 
drew feveral anfwers, one of the beft of which was a large print entitled 
"The Raree Show, a political contrail to th'; print of ' The Times,' by 
William Hogarth." It is the houfe of John Bull which is here on fire, 
and the Scots are dancing and exulting at it. In the centre of the pittnre 
appears a great a6tors' barn, from an upper window of which Fox thrufts 
oi^t hih head and points to the fign, reprefenting TEneas and Dido 

432 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

entering the cave together, as the performance which was afting within. 
It is an allufion to the fcandal in general circulation relating to Bute and 
the princefs, who, of courfe, were the jEneas and Dido of the piece, and 
appear in thofe charaders on the fcaffold in front, with two of Bute's 
mercenary writers, Smollett, who edited the Briton, and Murphy, who 
wrote in the Auditor, one blowing the trumpet and the other beating the 
drum. Among the different groups which fill the pifture, one, behind 
the adlors' barn (fee our cut No. 30i), is evidently intended for a fatire 
on the fpirit of religious fanaticifm which was at this time fpreading 
through the country. An open-air preacher, mounted on a ftool, is 
addreliing a not very intelledlual-looking audience, while his infpiration is 
conveyed to him in a rather vulgar manner by the fpirit, not of good, 
but of evil. 

The violence of this political warfare at length drove Lord Bute from 
at leaft oftenfible power. He refigned on the 6th of April, 1763. One 
of the popular favourites at this time was the duke of Cumberland, the 
hero of CuUoden, who was regarded as the leader of the oppofition in the 
Houfe of Lords. People now believed that it was the duke of Cumber- 
land who had overthrown " the boot," and his popularity increafed on a 
fudden. The triumph was commemorated in feveral caricatures. One 
of thefe is entitled, "The Jack-Boot kick'd down, or Englilli Will 
triumphant : a Dream." The duke of Cumberland, whip in hand, has 
kicked the boot out of the houfe, exclaiming to a young man in failor's 
garb who follows him, " Let me alone, Ned ; I know how to deal with 
Scotfmen. Remember CuUoden." The youth replies, " Kick hard, 
uncle, keep him down. Let me have a kick too." Nearly the fame 
group, ufing fimilar language, is introduced into a caricature of the fame 
date, entitled, "The Boot and the Blockhead." The youthful perfonage 
is no doubt intended for Cumberland's nephew, Edward, duke of York, 
who was a failor, and was railed to the rank of rear-admiral, and who 
appears to have joined his uncle in his oppofition to Lord Bute. The 
" boot," as feen in our cut No. 202, is encircled with Hogarth's celebrated 
"line of beauty," of which I fliall have to fpeak more at length in the 
next chapter. 

in Literature and Art. 


With the overthrow of Bute's miniftry, we may confider t:he Englilh 
fchool of caricature as completely formed and fully elhiblilhed. From 
this time the names of the caricaturills are better known, and we Ihail 

No. 202. TiK (hjcrthrow of the Boot. 

have to confider them in their individual charafters. One ol ihole. 
William Hogarth, had rilen in Hmie far above the group of the ordinary 
men by whom he was lurruunded. 


434 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grotefque 







ON the 1 0th of November, 1697, WilHam Hogarth was born in the 
city of London. His father, Richard Hogarth, was a London 
fchoolmafter, who laboured to increafe the income derived from bis 
fcholars by compiling books, but with no great fuccefs. From his child- 
hood, as he tells us in his "Anecdotes " of himfelf, the young Hogarth 
difplayed a tafte for drawing, and efpecially for caricature 3 and, out of 
fchool, he appears to have been feldom without a pencil in his hand. 
The limited means of Richard Hogarth compelled him to take the boy 
from fchool at an early age, and bind him apprentice to a fteel-plate 
engraver. But this occupation proved little to the tafte of one whofe 
ambition rofe much higher; and when the term of his apprenticefhip had 
expired, he applied himfelf to engraving on copper 3 and, fetting up on 
his own account, did confiderable amount of work, firft in engraving arms 
and fhop-bills, and afterwards in defigning and engraving book illuftrations, 
none of which difplayed any fuperiority over the ordinary run of fuch 
produftions. Towards 1728 Hogarth began to praCtife as a painter, and 
he fubfequently attended the academy of fir James Thornhill, in Covent 
Garden, where he became acquainted with that painter's only daughter, 
Jane. The refult was a clandeftine marriage in 1730, which met the 
difapproval%nd provoked the anger of the lady's father. Subfequently, 
however, fir James became convinced of the genius of his fon-in-law, and 
a reconciliation was eflfe6ted through the medium of lady Thornhill. 

in Literature and Art. 435 

At this time Hogarth had already comn)enced that new flyle of defign 
which was deltined to raile him loon to a degree of fame as an artift few 
men have ever attained. In his " Anecdotes " of himfclf, the painter has 
given us an interelting account of the motives by which lie was guided. 
" The reafons," he lays, " which induced me to adopt this mode of 
deligning were, that I thought both writers and painters had, in the 
hillorical llyle, totally overlooked that intermediate fpecies of fubje(5ts 
which may be placed between the fublime and the grotefque. I thon- 
forc wifhed to compofe pictures on canvas fimilar to reprefentations on the 
liage ; and further hope that they will be tried by the fame te(t, 
criiicifed by the fame criterion. Let it be obferved, that I mean to fpcak 
only of thofe fcenes where the human fpecies are adors, and thel'e, I 
think, have not often been delineated in a way of which they are worthy 
and capable. In thefe compofitions, thofe fubje6ts that will both entertain 
and improve the mind bid fair to be of the greateft public utility, and 
muft therefore be entitled to rank in the higheft clafs. If the execution 
is difficult (though that is but a fecondary merit), the author has claim to 
a higher degree of praife. If this be admitted, comedy, in painting as 
well as writing, ought to be allotted the firft place, though thejullimc, 
as it is called, has been oppofed to it. Ocular demonflration will carry 
more conviction to the mind of a fenfible man than all he would find in 
a thoufand volumes, and this has been attempted in the prints I have 
comjKjfed. Let the decifion be left to every unprejudiced eye ; let liu- 
figures in either pictures or prints be confidered as players drelVed either 
for the fublime, for genteel comedy or farce, for high or low life. I 
have endeavoured to treat my fubjeds as a dramatic writer : my pidure 
is my flage, and men and women my players, who, by means of certain 
adions and geftures, are to exhibit a dumb-Jhow." 

The great feries of pidures, indeed, which form the principal founda- 
tion of Hogarth's fame, are comedies rather than caricatures, and noble 
comedies they are. Like comedies, they are arranged, by a feries of fuc- 
ceflive plates, in atts and fcenes ; and they rt-prefent contemporary fociety 
pidorially, jull as it had been and was reprefenied on the ftage in Lnglilli 
comedy. It is imt by delicacy or excellence of drawing that Hogarth 

43 6 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

excels, tor he often draws incorreftlyj but it is by his extraordinary and 
minute dehneation of chara6ter, and by his wonderful ikill in telling a 
ftory thoroughly. In each of his plates we fee a whole atl: of a play, in 
which nothing is loll, nothing gloffed over, and, I may add, nothing 
exaggerated. The moft trifling objeft introduced into the pi£ture is 
made to have fuch an intimate relationfliip with the whole, that it feems 
as if it would be imperfeft without it. The art of producing this effe6t 
■was that in which Hogarth excelled. The firft of Hogarth's great ///i/« 
of prints was "The Harlot's Progrefs," which was the work of the years 
1733 and 1734. It tells a llory which was then common in London, and 
was afted more openly in the broad face of fociety than at the prefent 
day J and therefore the effe6t and confequent fuccefs were almoft inftan- 
taneous. It had novelty, as well as excellence, to recommend it. This 
feries of plates was followed, in t 735, by another, under the title of " The 
Rake's Progrefs." In the former, Hogarth depicted the fhame and 
ruin which attended a life of proftitution ; in this, he reprefented the 
limilar confequences which a life of profligacy entailed on the other fex. 
In many refpeds it is fuperior to the " Harlot's Progrefs," and its details 
come more home to the feelings of people in general, becaufe thofe of 
the proftitute's hiftory are more veiled from the public gaze. The 
progrefs of the fpendthrift in diflipation and riot, from the moment he 
becomes poflleffed of the fruits of paternal avarice, until his career ends in 
prifon and madnefs, forms a marvellous drama, in which every incident 
prefents itfelf, and every agent performs his part, fo naturally, that it 
feems almoft beyond the power of ading. Perhaps no one ever pidured 
defpair with greater perfedion than it is Ihown in the face and bearing of 
the unhappy hero of this hiflory, in the lafl plate but one of the feries, 
where, thrown into prifon for debt, he receives from the manager of a 
theatre the announcement that the play which he had written in the 
hope of retrieving fomewhat of his pofltion — his lafl: refource — has been 
refufed. The returned manufcript and the manager's letter lie on the 
wretched table (cut No. 203) ; while on the one fide his wife reproaches 
him heartleflly with the deprivations and fufFerings which he has brought 
upon her, and on the other the jailer is reminding him of the fad that 

/;; Literature and Art. 


the fees exaded for the flight indulgence he has obtained in prifon are 
unpaid, and even the poc-boy refufes to deliver him hi^ beer without lirft 
receiving his money. It is but a flep further to Bedlam, which, in the 
next plate, clofes his unblefll-d career. 

Ten years almoll from thib time had palfed away before Hogarth gave 

A'o. 203. Dejpa'ir. 

to the world his next grand feries of what he called his " modern moral 
fubje6ts.*' This was " The Marriage a la mode," which was publillied in 
fix plates in 174/;, and which fully fuftained the reputation built upon the 
" Harlot's Progrefs " and the " Rake's Progrefs." Perhaps the beft plate 
of the " Marriage d la mode," \i the fourth— the mufic fcene — in which 
one principal group of figures efpecially arrcils the attention. It is rcpre- 
Icnted in our cut No. 204. William Hazlitt has juflly remarked upon it 
that, " the prepofterous, overftrained admiration of the lady of quality ; 
the fentimental, infipid, patient delight (jf the man with his hair in 
papers, and fipping his tea j the pert, fmirking, conceited, half-diftorted 
approbation of the figure next to him ; the tranfition to the total infcnri- 
bility of the round face in profile, and then to the wonder of the negro 
boy at the rapture of his miflrcf->, form a perfedt whole." 

43 8 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

In the interval between thefe three great monuments of his talent, 
Hogarth had publiihed various other plates, belonging to much the fame 

No. 204. Fapo'ionabh Society. 

clafs of fubje£ts, and difplaying different degrees of excellence. His 
engraving of " Southwark Fair," publiihed in 1733, which immediately 

No. 205. wT^n Old Maid and her Page. 

preceded the " Harlot's Progrefs," may be regarded almoft as an attempt 
to rival the fairs of Callot. " The Midnight Modern Converfation " 

in Literature and Art. 


appeared in the interval between the "Harlot's Progrefs " and the 
" Rake's Progrefs j" and three years after the feries lalt mentioned, in 
1738, the engraving, remarkable equally in defign and execution, of the 
" Strolling AftrelVes in a Barn," and the four plates of " Morning," 
" Noon," "Evening," and "Night," all full of choiceft bits of humour. 
Such is the group of the old maid and her footboy in the firft of this 
feries (cut No. 205) — the former iVifF and prudilh, whofe religion is 
evidently not that of charity; while the latter crawls after, flirinking at 
the fame time under the efte6ts of cold and hunger, which he fuftains 
in confequence of the hard, niggardly temper of his miftrefs. Among 

No. 206. Lc/i and Gain. 

the humorous events which fill the plate of " Noon," we may point to 
the difafler of the boy who has been fent to the baker's to fetch home 
the family dinner, and who, as reprefentcd in our cut No. 206, has 
broken his pie-dilh, and fpilt its contents on the ground ; and it is diffi- 
cult to fay which is exprelTed with mod fidelity to nature — the terror and 
Ihame of the unfortunate lad, or the feeling of enjoyment in the face of 
the little girl who is feafiing on the fragments of the fcattertd meal. In 
I 741 appeared the plate of " The Enraged JMufician." During this period 
Hogarth appears to have been hefitating between two fubjetts for his 
Ihird grand pitlorial drama. Some unfinilhcd fetches have been found, 

44 o Hi [lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

from which it would feem that, after depi6ling the miferies of a hfe of 
diflipation in either fex, he intended to reprefent the domeftic happinefs 
which refuked from a prudent and well-aflbrted marriage ; but for fome 
reafon or other he abandoned this defign, and gave the pifture of wedlock 
in a lefs amiable light, in his " Marriage a la mode.'' The title was pro- 
bably taken from that of Dryden's comedy. In 17^0 appeared "The 
March to Finchley," in many refpeds one of Hogarth's beft works. It 
is a ftriking expofure of the want of difcipline, and the low morale of the 
Englifli army under George II. Many amufing groups fill this pifture, 
the fcene of which is laid in Tottenham Court Road, along which the 
guards are fuppofed to be marching to encamp at Finchley, in confequence 

No. 207. ^ bra've Soldier. 

of rumours of the approach of the Pretender's army in the Rebellion of 
'45. The foldiers in front are moving on with fome degree of order, but 
in the rear we fee nothing but confufion, fome reeling about under the 
effefts of liquor, and confounded by the cries of women and children, 
camp-followers, ballad-fingers, plunderers, and the like. One of the latter, 
as reprefented in our cut No. 207, is affilVmg a fallen foldier with an 
additional dofe of liquor, while his pilfering propenfities are betrayed by 
the hen fcreaming from his wallet, and by the chickens following dif- 
traftedly the cries of their parent. 

Hogarth prefents a fingular example of a fatirifl: who fuffered under 

in Literature and Art. 441 

the ver)' punilliment which he inflided on others. He made many 
perfonal enemies in the courle of his labours. He had begun his career 
with a well-known perlbnal fatire, entitled "The Man of Talle," which 
was a caricature on Pope, and the poet is laid never to have forgiven it. 
Although the I'atire in his more celebrated works appears to us general, 
t told upon his contemporaries perfonally ; for the figures which a6l 
their parts in them were fo many portraits of individuals who moved in 
contemporary fociety, and who were known to everybody, and thus he 
provoked a holl of enemies. It was like Foote's mimicry. He was to 
an extraordinary degree vain of his own talent, and jealous of that of 
others in the fame profellion j and he fpoke in terms of undifguifed 
contempt of almoft all artills, paft or prefent. Thus, the painter intro- 
duced into the print of " Beer Street," is laid to be a caricature upon 
John Stephen Liotard, one of the arlilts mentioned in the lart chapter. 
He thus provoked the hollility of the greatell part of his contemporaries 
in his own profellion, and in the fequel had to fupport the full weight of 
their anger. When George H., who had more tafte for foldiers than 
piAures, faw the painting of the " March to Finchley," iiiftead of admir- 
ing it as a work of art, he is faid to have exprelled himfelf with anger at 
the infult which he believed was offered to his army ; and Hogarth not 
only revenged himfelf by dedicating his print to the king of Prullia, by 
which it did become a fatire on the Britifh army, but he threw himfelf 
into the fadtion of the prince of Wales at Leicefter Houl'e. I'he firll 
occafion for the difplay of all thefe animofities was given in the year 1753, 
at the clofe of which he publilhed his " Analyfis of Beauty." Though 
far from being himfelf a fuccefsful painter of beauty, Hogarth under- 
took in this work to invefligate its principles, which he referred to 
a waving or ferpentine line, and this he termed the " line of beauty." 
In 1745 Hogarth had publilhed his own portrait as the frontifpiece to a 
volume of his coUedted works, and in one corner of the plate he introduced 
a painter's palette, on which was this waving line, infcribed " The line 
of beauty." For feveral years the meaning of this remained either (juite 
a myllery, or was only known to a few of Hogarth's actjuanitances, until 
the appearance of the book jull mentioned. Hogarth's manufcript was 

442 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

revifed by his. friend, Dr. Morell, the compiler of the " Thefaurus," 
whofe name became thus affociated with the book. This work expofed 
its author to a hoft of violent attacks, and to unbounded ridicule, efpe- 
cially from the whole tribe of offended artifts. A great number of cari- 
catures upon Hogarth and his line of beauty appeared during the year 
1754, which ftiow the bitternefs of the hatred he had provoked; and to 
hold ftill further their terror over his head, moft of them are infcribed 
■w ith the words, " To be continued." Among the artifts who efpecially 

ho. 208. ui. Painter'' s Amufements, 

fignalifed themfelves by their zeal againft him, w^as Paul Sandby, to 
whom we owe fome of the beft of thefe anti-Hogarthian caricatures. 
One of thefe is entitled, "A New Dunciad, done with a view of 
[fixing] the flu6luating ideas of tafle." In the principal group (which is 
given in our cut No. 208), Hogarth is reprefented playing with a pantin, 
or figure which was moved into a6tivity by pulling a firing. The firing 
takes fomewhat the form of the line of beauty, which is alfo drawn upon 
his palette. This figure is defcribed underneath the pi6ture as " a painter 

/;/ Literature and Art. 


at the proper exercife of his tafte." To his breart is attached a card (the 
knave of hearts), which is defcribed by a very bad pun as " the fool of 
arts." On one lide " his genius " is reprefented in the form of a black 
harlequin 3 while behind appears a rather jolly perfonage (intended, perhaps, 
for Dr. Morell), who, we are told, is one of his admirers. On the table 
are the foundations, or the remains, of " a houfe of cards." Near liim 
is Hogarth's favourite dog, named Trump, which always accompanies him 
in ihefe caricatures. Another caricature which appeared at this time 
reprefents Hogarth on the ftage as a quack do6tor, holding in his hand 
the line of beauty, and recommending its extraordinary qualities. This 

Ko. 209. The hint of Beauty txemplijied. 

print is entitled " A Mountebank Painter demonflrating to his admirers 
and fubfcribers that crookednefs is y' moft beautifiill." Lord Bute, whofe 
patronage at Leicefter Houfe Hogarth now enjoyed, is reprefented 
fiddling, and the black harlequin ferves as " his putV." In the front a 
crowd of deformed and hump-backed people are prefling forwards (lee 
our cut No. 209), and the line of beauty fits them all admirably. 

Much as this famous line of beauty was ridiculed, Hogarth was not 
allowi'd to retain the fmall honour which feemed to arife from it undif- 
putcd. It was faid that he had ftolen the idt'a from an Italiiti writer 
named Lomazzo, Latinifed into Lomatius, who had enounced it in a 


Hifiory of Caricature and Grofefque 

treatife on the Fine Arts, publiihed in the fixteenth century.* In 
another caricature by Paul Sandby, with a vulgar title which I will not 
repeat, Hogarth is vifited, in the midft of his glory, by the ghoft of 
Lomazzo, carrying in one hand his treatife on the arts, and with his other 
holding up to view the line of beauty itfelf. In the infcriptions on the 
plate, the principal figure is defcribed as "An author finking under the 

\ ' ' 
1 1 1 

No. 2IO. Piracy Expofed. 

weight of his faturnine analyfis;'' and, indeed, Hogarth's terror is broadly 
painted, while the volume of his analyfis is refting heavily upon "a ftrong 
fupport bent in the line of beauty by the mighty load upon it." Befide 
Hogarth ftands " his faithful pug," and behind him " a friend of the 
author endeavouring to prevent his finking to his natural lownefs." On 

* It was translated into English by Richard Haydocke, under the title of "The 
Artes of Curious Paintinge, Carvinge, Buildinge," fol. 1598. This is one of the 
earliest works on art in the English language. 

in Literature a fid Art. 445 

the other fide Itands Dr. Morell, or, perhaps, Mr. Townley, the mafler of 
Merchant Taylors' School, who continued his I'ervice in preparing the 
book for the prefs after Morell's death, defcribed as " the author's friend 
and corredor," allonilhed at the light of the ghoft. The ugly figure on 
the left hand of the pi6ture is described as " Deformity weeping at the 
condition of her darling fon," while the dog is " a greyhound bemoaning 
his friend's condition." This group is reprefented in our cut No. 210. 
The other caricatures which appeared at this time were two numerous 
to allow us to give a particular dcfcription of them. The artirt is ufually 
reprefented, under the influence of his line of beauty, painting ugly 
pidures from deformed models, or attempting hiftorical pidures in a ftyle 
bordering on caricature, or, on one occafion, as locked up in a mad-houfe, 
and allowed only to exercife his Ikill upon the bare walls. One of thefe 
caricatures is entitled, in allufion to the title of one of his moft popular 
jirints, "The Painter's March through Finchley, dedicated to the king of 
the gipfies, as an encourager of arts, &c." Hogarth appears in full flight 
through the village, clofely purfued by women and children, and animals 
in great variety, and defended only by his favourite dog. 

With the " Marriage d la made," Hogarth may be confidered as having 
reached his higheft point of excellence. The fet of" Induftry and Idle- 
nefs" tells a good and ufcful moral ftory, but difplays inferior talent in 
delign. "Beer Street " and " Gin Lane " difgull us by their vulgarity, 
and the " Four Stages of Cruelty " are equally repulfive to our feelings 
by the unveiled horrors of the fcenes which are too coarfely depided in 
them. In the four prints of the proceedings at an elrdion, which are 
the lart of his pidures of this defcription, publillied in i 754, Hogarth rifes 
again, and approaches in fome degree to his former elevation. 

In 1757, on the death of his brother-in-law, John Thornliill, the 
office of fergeant-painter of all his Majefty's works became vacant, and it 
was bellowed upon Hogarth, who, according to his own account, received 
from it an income of about d.'200 a-year. This appointment caufed 
another difplay of hoflility towards him, and his enemies called him 
jceringly the king's chief panel painter. It was at this moment that a 
phui lor the eflablilhment of an academy of the fine arts was agitated, 

44^ Hi/lo7y of Caricature and Grotefque 

which, a few years later, came into exiftence under the title of the Royal 
Academy, and Hogarth proclaimed fo loud an oppofition to this project, 
that the old cry was raifed anew, that he was jealous and envious of all 
his profeflion, and that he fought to ftand alone as fuperior to them all. 
It was the fignal for a new onflaught of caricatures upon himfelf and his 
line of beauty. Hitherto his affailants had been found chiefly among the 
artifts, but the time was now approaching when he was defl:ined to thrull 
himfelf into the midft of a political ftruggle, where the attacks of a new 
clafs of enemies carried with them a more bitter fting. 

George H. died on the 17th of 0£tober, 1760, and his grandfon 
fucceeded him to the throne as George HI. It appears evident that 
before this time Hogarth had gained the favour of lord Bute, who, by his 
intereft with the princefs of Wales, was all-powerful in the houfehold of 
the young prince. The painter had hitherto kept tolerably clear of politics 
in his prints, but now, unluckily for himfelf, he fuddenly ruflied into the 
arena of political caricature. It was generally faid that Hogarth's objeft 
was, by difplaying his zeal in the caufe of his patron, lord Bute, to obtain 
an increafe in his penfion ; and he acknowledges himfelf that his objeft 
was gain. "This," he fays, "being a period when war abroad and 
contention at home engrofl!ed every one's mind, prints were thrown into 
the background j and the fl:agnation rendered it necelfary that I fliould 
do fome timed thing [the italics are Hogarth's] to recover my loft time, 
and flop a gap in my income." Accordingly he determined to attack 
the great minifter, Pitt, who had then recently been compelled to refign 
his oflSce, and had gone over to the oppofition. It is faid that John 
Wilkes, who had previoufly been Hogarth's friend, having been privately 
informed of his delign, went to the painter, expoftulated with him, and, 
as he continued obftinate, threatened him with retaliation. In Sep- 
tember, 1762, appeared the print entitled " The Times, No. i," indicating 
that it was to be followed by a fecond caricature. The principal features 
of the pifture are thefe : Europe is reprefented in flames, which are 
communicating to Great Britain, but lord Bute, with foldiers and failors, 
and the afliftance of Highlanders, is labouring to extinguilh them, while 
Pitt is blowing the fire, and the duke of Newcaftle brings a barrow ful of 

/';/ Literature and Art. 


Monitors and Korth Britons, the violent journals of the popular party, to 
feed it. There is much detail in the print which it is not necellary to 
defcribe. In fiilhlment of his threat, Wilkes, in the number of tlie 
Xorth Briton publilhcd on the Saturday immediately following the pub- 
lication of this print, attacked Hogarth with extraordinary bittcrnels, 
calling cruel reflexions upon his domeftic as well as his profcllional 
character. Hogarth, ftung to the quick, retaliated by publilliing the well- 
known caricature of Wilkes. Thereupon Churchill, the poet, Wilkes's 
friend, and formerly the friend of Hogarth alfo, publilhed a bitter invedive 

No. 211. An Independent Draughtjman. 

in verfe againft the painter, under the title of an " Epillle to William 
Hogarth." Hogarth retaliated again: "Having an old plate by me," 
he tells us, "with fome parts ready, fuch as a background and a dog, 
I began to confider how I could turn I'u much work laid afide to fome 
account, fo patched up a print of Malkr Churchill in the charafter of a 
btar." The unfinilhed picture was intended to be a portrait of Hogarth 
himfelfi the canonical bear, which reprefented Churchill, htld a pot of 

44 S Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

porter in one hand, and in the other a knotted club, each knot labelled 
"lie I," "lie 2," &c. The painter, in his "Anecdotes," exults over the 
pecuniary profit he derived from the extenfive fale of thefe two prints. 

The virulence of the caricaturifts againft Hogarth became on this 
occafion greater than ever. Parodies on his own works, fneers at his 
perfonal appearance and manners, refleftions upon his charafter, were 
all embodied in prints which bore fuch names as Hogg-afs, Hoggart, 
O'Garth, &c. Our cut No. 211 reprefents one of the caricature portraits 
of the artift. It is entitled " Wm. Hogarth, Efq., drawn from the Life." 
Hogarth wears the thiflle on his hat, as the fign of his dependence on 
lord Bute. At his bread hangs his palette, with the line of beauty 
infcribed upon it. He holds behind his back a roll of paper infcribed 
" Burlefque on L — d B — t." In his right hand he prefents to view two 
pi6fures, " The Times," and the " Portrait of Wilkes." At the upper 
corner to the left is the figure of Bute, offering him in a bag a penfion of 
"^300 per ann." Some of the allufions in this pifture are now obfcure, 
but they no doubt relate to anecdotes well known at the time. They 
receive fome light from the following mock letters which are written at 
the foot of the plate : — 

" Copf of a Letter from Mr. Hog-garth to Lord Mucklemon, iv^h his Lordjhtp'i Anfiver. 

" My Lord, — The enclosed is a design I intend to publish ; you are sensible it 
will not redound to your honour, as it will expose you to all the world in your 
proper colours. You likewise know what induced me to do this ; but it is in y' 
power to prevent it from appearing in publick, which I would have you do 

"Will" Hog-garth. 

"Mais' Hog-garth, — By my saul, mon, I am sare troobled for what I have 
done; I did na ken y' muckle merit till noow ; say na mair aboot it; Lll mak au 
things easy to you, & gie you bock your Pension. 

"Sawney Mucklemon." 

In an etching without a title, publifhed at this time, and copied in 
our cut No. 212, the Hogarthian dog is reprefented barking from a 
cautious diflance at the canonical bear, who appears to be meditating 
further mifchief. Pugg flands upon his matter's palette and the line of 
beauty, while Bruin refls upon the " Epiftle to Wm. Hogarth," with the 

in Literature mid Art. 


pen and ink by its fide. On the left, behind the dog, is a large frame, 
with the words " Pannel Painting" infcribed upon it. 

The article by Wilkes in the Aor//i Briton, and Churchill's 
epiftle, irritated Hogarth more than all the hoftile caricatures, and were 

No. I'z. Beaut f ar.d the Bear. 

generally believed to have broken his heart. He died on the 26th of 
Odober, 1764, little more ihan a year after the appearance of the attack 
by Wilkes, and with the taunts of bis political as well as his protiellioual 
enemies ftill ringing in his ears. 


450 mjiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 








THE fchoolof caricature which had grown amid the poHtical agitation 
of the reigns of the two firft Georges, gave birth to a number of 
men of greater talent in the fame branch of art, who carried it to its 
higheil degree of perfeftion during that of George III. Among them 
are the three great names of Gillraj, Rowlandfon, and Cruikfliank, and 
a few who, though fecond in rank to thefe, are flill well remembered for 
tJie talent difplayed in their works, or with the efFeft thej produced on 
contemporaries. Among thefe the principal were Paul Sandby, John 
Collet, Sayer, Bunbury, and Woodward. 

Sandby has been fpoken of in the lad chapter. He was not by pro- 
feffion a caricaturift, but he was one of thofe rifing artifts who were 
offended by the fneering terms in which Hogarth fpoke of all artifts but 
himfelf, and he was foremoft among thofe who turned their fatire 
againft him. Examples of his caricatures upon Hogarth have already 
been given, fufficient to Ihow that they difplay Ikill in compofition as 
well as a large amount of wit and humour. After his death, they .vere 
republiflied colle6tively, under the title, " Retrofpedive Art, frc n the 
CoUeftion of the late Paul Sandby, Efq., R.A." Sandby was. Indeed, 
one of the original members of the Royal Academy. He was in artift 

in Literature and Art. 


much admired in his time, but is now chiefly remembered as a topo- 
graphical draughtlman. He was a native of Nottingham, where he was 
born in 1725,* and he died on the 7th of November, 1809.! 

John Collet, who alfo has been mentioned in a previous chapter, was 
born in London in 1725, and died there in 1780. Collet is faid to have 
been a pupil of Hogarth, and there is a large amount of Hogarthian cha- 
ra(5ter in all his deligns. Few artills have been more induftrious and 

A'e. 213. A 

produced a greater number of engravings. He worked chiefly for 
Carrington Bowles, in St. Paul's Churchyard, and for Robert Sayers, at 
53, Fleet Street. His prints publilhed by Bowles were engraved generally in 

* His death is usually placed, but erroneously, in 1732. 

■f- Sandby etched landscapes on steel, and in aqnatinta, the latter by a method 
peculiarly his own, be^idfs painting in oil and o;):i(|iie colours. But his fame rests 
mainly on being the founder ot the Ent;lish school of lua-cr-nlour paintings since he 
v*as the first to show the capability of that material to pr )ducc finishiil pic'uus, 
and to lead the way to the perfection in effect and colour to whicli that branch of 
art has ^ince attained. 

452 Hijiory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

mezzotinto, and highly coloured for Tale 3 while thole publilhed by Sayers 
were ufually line engravings, and fometimes remarkably well executed. 
Collet chofe for his field of labour that to which Hogarth had given the 
title of comedy in art, but he did not poffefs Hogarth's power of delineat- 
ing whole a6ts and fcenes in one picture, and he contented himfelf with 
bits of detail and groups of charafters only. His caricatures are rarely poli- 
tical — they are aimed at fecial manners and focial vanities and weaknelFes, 
and altogether they form a fingalarly curious pi6ture of fociety during 
an important period of the laft century. The firft example I give (No. 
213) is taken from a line engraving, publilhed by Sayers in 1776. At this 
time the natural adornments of the perfon in both fexes had fo far yielded 
to artificial ornament, that even women cut oft" their own hair in order to 
replace it by an ornamental peruque, fupporting a head-drefs, which varied 
from time to time in form and in extravagance. Collet has here intro- 
duced to us a lady who, encountering a fudden and violent wind, has loll 
all her upper coverings, and wig, cap, and hat are caught by her footman 
behind. The lady is evidently fuflfering under the feeling of fliame ; and 
hard by, a cottager and his wife, at their door, are laughing at her dif- 
comfiture. A bill fixed againft a neighbouring wall announces " A 
Ledure upon Heads." 

At this time the " no-popery " feeling ran very high. Four years 
afterwards it broke out violently in the celebrated lord Gordon riots. It 
was this feeling which contributed greatly to the fuccefs of Sheridan's 
comedy of " The Duenna," brought out in 1775. Collet drew feveraj 
piftures founded upon fcenes in this play, one of which is given in our cut 
No. 214. It forms one of Carington Bowles's rather numerous feries of 
prints from defigns by Collet, and reprefents the well-known drinking 
I'cene in the convent, in the fifth fcene of the third aft of "The Duenna." 
The fcene, it will be remembered, is "a room in the priory," and the 
excited monks are toalling, among other obje£ts of devotion, the abbefs 
of St. Urfuline and the blue-eyed nun of St. Catherine's. The " blue- 
eyed nun" is, perhaps, the lady feen through the window, and the patron 
faint of her convent is reprefented in one of the pidtures on the wall. 
There is great fpirit in this pldure, which is entitled " Father Paul in his 

in Literature and Art. 


Cups, or the Private Devotions of a Convent.'" It is accompanied with 
the following lines : — 

See tvllh thefe friars hciu religion tkriveSy 
Who love good living better than good lives ; 
Paul, the Juper tor father, rules the roajl. 
His god 'i the glafs, the blue-eyed nun his tojft. 
Thus priefts conjume luhat fearful focls bcjl^iv, 
jind faints' donations make the bumpers fitnu. 
The butler fleeps— the cellar door is free — 
This is a modern cloijier's piety. 

From Collet to Sayer we rufh into the heat — I may fay into the 
bitterncli — of politics, for James Sayer is known, wiih very trifling ex- 

No. 2 1 4. Father Paul its his Cups. 

ceptions, as a political caricaiurift. He was the fon of a captain of a 
merchant lliip at Great Yarmouth, but was himfelf j)ul to the profef- 
fion of an attorney. As, however, he was poU'elfed of a moderate inde- 
pendence, and appears to have had no great talle for the law, he negleded 
his bufinels, and, with confiderable talent for fatire and caricature, he 
threw himfelf into the p>)Iiti(al ftrife of tlie day. Sayer was a bad 

454 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

draughtfrnan, and his pi6lures are produced more by labour than by ikill 
in drawing, but they pofleis a confiderable amount of humour, and were 
fufficiently fevere to obtain popularity at a time when this latter charader 
excufed worfe drawing even than that of Sayer. He made the acquaint- 
ance and gained the favour of the younger William Pitt, when that 
ftatefman was afpiring to power, and he began his career as a caricaturill 
by attacking the Rockingham minillry in 1783 — of courfe in the intereft 
of Pitt. Sayer's earlieft produttions which are now known, are a feries of 
caricature portraits of the Rockingham adminillration, that appear to have 
been given to the public in inftalments, at the feveral dates of April 6, 
May 14, June 17, and July 3, 1783, and bear the name of C. Bretherton 
as publirtier. He publifhed his firfl veritable caricature on the occafion of 
the minifterial changes which followed the death of lord Rockingham, 
when lord Shelburne was placed at the head of the cabinet, and Fox and 
Burke retired, while Pitt became chancellor of the exchequer. This 
caricature, which bears the title of " Paradife Loft," and is, in fatt, a 
parody upon Milton, reprefents the once happy pair. Fox and Burke, 
turned out of their paradife, the Treafury, the arch of the gate of which 
is ornamented with the heads of Shelburne, the prime minifter, and 
Dunning and Barre, two of his flaunch fupporters, who were confidered 
to be efpecially obnoxious to Fox and Burke. Between thefe three heads 
appear the faces of two mocking fiends, and groups of piflols, daggers, 
and fwords. Beneath are infcribed the well-known lines of Milton — 

To the eaftern Jlde 
Of Parad'ife, fo late their happy feat, 
Wa'utd o-ver by that jiaming brand ; the gate 
With dreadful face^ thronged and fiery arms ! 
Some natural tears they dropt, but iviped themfoon. 
The nvorld "was all before them, ivhere to choofe 
Their place of refi, and pro-vidcnce their guide. 
They, arm in arm, ivith tvand^ringfleps, and flotv. 
Thro' Eden took their folitary tvay. 

Nothing can be more lugubrious than the air of the two fi'iends, Fox and 
Eurke, as they walk away, arm in arm, from the gate of the minifterial 
paradife. From this time Sayer, who adopted all Pitt's virulence towards 

in Literature and Art. 


Fox, made the latter a continual lubjedt of his latire. Nor did this zeal 
pafs unrewarded, for Pitt, in power, gave the caricaturift the not unlucra- 
live oiiices ot marfhal of the court of exchequer, receiver of the lixpcnny 
duties, and curfitor. Saycr was, in faft, Pitt's caricaturift, and was 
(.mployed by liim in attacking fuccellivcly the coalition under Fox and 
North, Fox's India Bill, and even, at a later period, Warren Haftings on 
his trial. 

I have already remarked that Sayer was almoft exclufively a political 
caricaturift. The exceptions are a few prints on theatrical fubjetts, in 

A's. 21 S- yl Contraft. 

which contemporary aftors and adiefles are caricatured, and a fingle 
fubje6t from faftiionable life. A copy of the latter forms our cut 
No. 215. It has no title in the original, but in a copy in my poftcllion 
a contemporary has written on the margin in pencil that the lady is Mils 
Snow and the gentleman Mr. Bird, no doubt wcll-kiiown pcrfonages in 
contemporary fociety. It was publilhed on the 19111 of July, 1783. 

"One of Sayer's mod fucccl'-ful caricatures, in regard to the cll'cd It 

456 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

produced on the public, was that on Fox's India Bill, publiilied on the 
jth of September, 1783. It was entitled "Carlo Khan's Triumpb'il 
Entry into Leadenhall Street," Carlo Khan being perfonified by Fox, 
who is carried in triumph to the door of the India Houfe on the back ot 
an elephant, which prefents the face of lord North. Burke, who had 
been the principal fupporter of the bill in debate, appears in the charafter 
of the imperial trumpeter, and leads the elephant on its way. On a 
banner behind Carlo, the old infcription, " The Man of the People," the 
title popularly given to Fox, is erafed, and the two Greek words, 
BA2IAEY2 BA2IAEQN, "king of kings," fubftituted in its place. 
From a chimney above, the bird of ill omen croaks forth the doom of the 
ambitious minifter, who, it was pretended, aimed at making himfelf more 
powerful than the king himfelf 3 and on the fide of the houfe juft below 
we read the words — 

The night-croiv cried foreboding lucklejs time. — Shakespeare. 

Henry William Bunbury belonged to a more ariftocratic clafs in 
fociety than any of the preceding. He was the fecond fon of fir 
William Bunbury, Bart., of Mildenhall, in the county of Suffolk, and 
was born in 1750. How he iirft took fo zealoufly to caricature we have 
no information, but he began to publifti before he was twenty-one years 
of age. Bunbury's drawing was bold and often good, but he had little 
Ikill in etching, for fome of his earlier prints, publifhed in 177 1, which he 
etched himfelf, are coarfely executed. His defigns were afterwards 
engraved by various perfons, and his own ftyle was (bmetimes modified in 
this procefs. His earlier prints were etched and fold by James Bretherton, 
who has been already mentioned as publifhing the works of James Sayer. 
This Bretherton was in fome efteem as an engraver, and he alfo had a 
print-lliop at 132, New Bond Street, where his engravings were publiilied. 
James had a fon named Charles, who difplayed great talent at an early 
age, but he died young. As early as 1772, when the macaronis (the 
dandies of the eighteenth century) came into falliion, James Bretherton 's 
name appears on prints by Bunbury as the engraver and publifher, and it 
occurs again as the engraver of his print of " Strephon and Chloe " in 

in Literature and Art. 


1801, which was publilhed by Fores. At this and a lat«»r period fome of 
his defigns were engraved by Rowlandlbn, who alwayii transferred his 
own ftyle to the drawings he copied. A remarkable inftance of this is 
furnilhed by a print of a party of anglers of both fexes in a punt, entitled 
"Anglers of 181 1 " (the year of Bunbury's death). But for the name, 
" H. Bunbury, del.," very diflindlly infcribed upon it. we lliould take this 
to be a genuine defign by Rowlandfon ; and in 1803 Rowlandfon 
engraved fome copies of Bunbury's prints on horfcmanlliip for Acker- 
mann, of the Strand, in which all traces of Bunbury's llylc arc lolh 
Bunbury's llyle is rather broadly burlefque. 

Bunbury had evidently little tatle for political caricature, and he 


No. 216. Hrnv to Travel on Tioo L(gs in a Fr'.fi. 

feldv m meddled with it. Like Collet, he preferred fcenes of focial life, 
and humorous incidents of contemporary manners, falhionable 01 
popular. He had a great tafte for caricaturing bad or awkward horfe- 
manlliip or unmanageable horfes, and his prints of I'uch fubjcds were 
numerous and greatly admired. Ihis talle for ecjueflrian pieces was 
fliown in prints publillied in 1772, and feveral droll feries of luch fubje^ls 
appeared at ditferent times, between 1781 and 1791, one of which was 
long famous under the title of " Gcoirrcy Gambado's Horfcmanlliip.' 

45 8 HiJIory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

An example of thefe incidents of horfemanfbip is copied in our cut 
No. 2x6, where a not very lliilful rider, witii a troublefome horfe, is 
taking advantage of tlie ftate of the ground for accelerating locomotion. 
It is entitled, " How to travel on Two Legs in a FroJl," and is accom- 
panied with the motto, in Latin, " Oflendunt tcrris hunc tantum fata, 
neque ultra ejjljinenty 

Occafionally Bunbury drew in a broader flyle of caricature, efpecially 
in fome of his later works. Of our examples of this broader ftyle, 
the firfl cut, No. 217, entitled " Strephon and Chloe," is dated the 

No. 217. Strephon and Chloe. 

ift of July, 1 801. It is the very acme of fentimental courtfhip, exprefled 
in a fpirit of drollery which could not eaiily be excelled. The next group 
(cut No. 218), from a fimilar print publilhed on the 2ifl: of July in the 
fame year, is a no lefs admirable pifture of overllrained politenefs. It is 
entitled in the original, " The Salutation Tavern," probably with a tem- 
porary allulion beyond the more apparent defign of the picture. Bunbury, 
as before ftated, died in 181 1. It is enough to fay that fir Jolliua 
Reynolds ufed to exprefs a high opinion of him as an artift. 

Bunbury 's prints rarely appeared without his name, and, except 
when they had paffed through the engraving of Rowlandfon, are 
eafily recognifed. No doubt his was confidered a popular name, 
wnich was aimoft of as much importance as the print itfelf. But 

in Literature and Art. 


a large raals of the caricatures publiihed at the latter end of the laft 
century and the beginning of the prefent, appeared anonynioully, or 
with imaginary names. Thus a political print, entitled "The Modern 
Atlas," bears the infcription " Mafr Hook fecit ;" another entitlid 
" Farmer George delivered," has that of " Poll Pitt del." " Every- 
body delin't," is infcribed on a caricature entitled "The Lover's Leap ;" 
and one which appeared under the title of " Veterinary Operations," 
is infcribed " Giles Grinagain fe6t." Some of thefe were probably 

A'o. 218. A FiifhknabU Salutatkn. 

the works of amateurs, for there appear to have been many amateur 
caricaturifls in England at that time. In a caricature entitled " The 
Scotch Arms," publiHied by Fores on the 3rd of January, 1787, we find 
the announcement," Gentlemen's defigns executed gratis," which means, 
of courfe, that Fores would publifli the caricatures of amateurs, if he 
approved them, without making the faid amateurs pay for the engraving. 
But alfo fome of the belt caricaturifts of the day publifhcd much anony- 
moufly, and we know that this was the cafe to a very great extent with 
fuch artifts as Cruikfliank, Woodward, &c., at all events until fuch lime 
as their names became fufficiently popular to be a recommendation to the 
prmt. It is certain that many of Woodward's defigns were publiflnd 

460 Hijiory of Caricature and Grofefqiie 

without his name. Such was the cafe with the print of which we give a 
copy in our cut No. 219, which was publifhed on the 5th of May, 1796, 
and which bears ftrongly the marks of Woodward's llyle. The fpring of 
this year, 1796, witnefled a general difappointment at the failure of the 
negociations for peace, and therefore the neceffity of new facrifices for 
carrying on the war, and of increafed taxation. Many clever caricatures 
appeared on this occafion, of which this by Woodward was one. Of 

No. 219. General Complaint, 

courfe, when war was inevitable, the queftion of generals was a verv 
important one, and the caricaturift pretends that the greateft general of 
the age was " General Complaint. ' The general appears here with an 
empty purfe in his right hand, and in his left a handful of papers contain- 
ing a lift of bankrupts, the ftatement of the budget, Sic. Four lines 
beneath, in rather doggrel verfe, explain the fituation as follows : — 

Dont tell me of generals raijed from mere boys. 

Though, belie-ve me, I mean not their laurel to taint ; 
But the general, Vm Jure, that will make the mojl noije. 

If the ivar fill goes on, ivill be General Complaint. 

ifi Literature iind Art. 


There was much of Bunbury's rtyle in that of Woodward, wlio had a 
latle for the fame broad caricatures upon fociety, which he executed in a 
limilar fpirit. Some of the Juiles of fubjeds of this defcription that he 
pubUllied, fuch as the feries of the " Symptoms of the Shop," thofe ot 
" Everybody out of town " and " Everybody in Town," and the " Speci- 
mens of Domeftic Phrenfy," are extremely clever and amufing. Wood- 
ward's deligns were alfo not unfrequently engraved by Rowlandfon, who, 
as ufual, imprinted his own ftyle upon them. A very good example of 
this pra6tice is feen in the print of which we give a copy in our cut 
No. 220. Its title, in tlie original, is " Defire," and the pallion is 

No. 220. Defire. 

exemplified in the cafe of a hungry fchoolboy watching through a window 
a jolly cook carrying by a templing plum-pudding. We are told in an 
infcription underneath : "Various are the ways this paflion might be 
depidted ; in this delineation the fubjeds chofen are (imple — a hungry 
l)(jy and a plum-pudding." The delign of this print is Hated to be 
Woodward's J but the ftyle is altogether that of Rowlandfon, whofe name 
appears ou it a* the etcher. It was publilhed by K. AcJiermann, on the 

462 Hijiory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

20th of January, 1800. Woodward is well known by his prolific pencil, 
but we are fo little acquainted with the man himfelf, that I cannot ftate 
the date either of his birth or of his death. 

There lived at this time in Edinburgh an engraver of fome eminence 
in his way, but whofe name is now nearly forgotten, and, in fa6t, it does 
not occur in the laft edition of Bryan's "Diftionary of Engravers." This 
name was John Kay, which is found attached to prints, of which about 
four hundred are known, with dates extending from 1784 to 181 7. As an 
engraver, Kay poffefled no great talent, but he had confiderable humour. 

No. 221. Looking a Rock in the Face. 

and he excelled In catching and delineating the ftriking points in the 
features and gait of the individuals who then moved in Edinburgh Society. 
In faft, a large proportion of his prints confift of caricature portraits, often 
feveral figures on the fame plate, which is ufually of froall dimenfions. 

i}i Literature a?id Art. 


Among them are many of the profeirors and other diftinguilhed members 
of the univerfity of Edinburgh. Thus one, copied in our cut No. 221, 
reprefents the eminent old geologift, Dr. James Hutton, rather aftonilhed 
at the fhapes which his favourite rocks have fuddenly taken, The original 
print is dated in j 787, ten years before Dr. Hutton's death. The idea of 
giving faces to rocks was not new in the time of John Kay, and it has 
been frequently repeated. Some of thefe caricature portraits are clever 
and amufing, and they are at times very fatirical. Kay appears to have 
rarely ventured on caricature of any other defcription, but there is one 
rare plate by him, entitled " The Craft in Danger," which is ftated in a 
tew words pencilled on the copy I have before me, to have been aimed 
at a cabal for propofing Dr. Barclay for a profeiTorfhip in the univerfity of 
Edinburgh. It dilplays no great talent, and is, in fa6t, now not very 
mtelligible. The figures introduced in it are evidently intended for 
rather caricatured portraits of members of the univerfity engaged in the 
cabal, and are in the fiyle of Kay's other portraits.* 

• In the library of the British Museum there is a collection of John Kay's 
works bound in two volumes quarto, with a title and table of contents in manu- 
script, but whether it is one of a few copits intended for publication, or whether 
it is merely the collection of some intliviclu;il, I am not prepared to say. It contains 
34.3 plates, which are stated to be all Kay's works down to the year 181 3, when 
this collection was made. " The Craft in Danger" is not among them. I have 
before me a smaller, but a very choice selection, of Kay's caricatures, the of 
whi< h I owe to the kindness of Mr. John Camden Hotten, of Piccadilly. I am 
indebted to Mr. Hotten for many courtesies of this description, and especially for 
the use of a very valuable collection of caricatures of the latter part of the eighteenth 
century and earlier part of the present, mounted in four large folio volumes, which 
has been of much use to me. 

464 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 







TN the year 1757 was born the greateft of Englirti caricaturills, and 
-■- perhaps of all caricaturifts of modern times whofe works are known — 
James Gillray. His father, who was named like himfelf, James, was a 
Scotchman, a native of Lanark, and a foldier, and, having loft one arm at 
the battle of Fontenoy, became an out-penfioner of Chelfea Hofpital. He 
obtained alfo the appointment of fexton at the Moravian burial-ground at 
Chelfea, which he held forty years, and it was at Chelfea that James 
Gillray the younger was born. The latter, having no doubt fhown figns 
of artiftic talent, was put apprentice to letter-engraving j but after a time, 
becoming difgufted with this employment, he ran away, and joined a party 
of llrolling players, and in their company palTed through many adven- 
tures, and underwent many hardfhips. He returned, however to London, 
and received fome encouragement as a promifing artift, and obtained 
admiffion as a ftudent in the Royal Academy — the then young inftitution 
to which Hogarth had been oppofed. Gillray foon became known as a 
defigner and engraver, and worked in thefe capacities for the publiihers. 
Among his earlier produ6tions, two illuftrations of Goldfmith's "Deferted 
Village " are fpoken of with praife, as difplaying a remarkable freedom 
of effe6l. For a long time after Gillray became known as a caricaturift 
he continued to engrave the defigns of other artifts. The earlieft known 
caricature which can be afcribed to him with any certainty, is the plate 
entitled " Paddy on Horfeback," and dated in 1779, when he was twenty- 
two years of age. The "horfe" on which Paddy rides is a bull 3 he is 

in Literature and Art. 465 

feated with his face turned to the tail. The lubjea of fatire is fuppofed 
to be the chara6ler then enjoyed by the Irilh as fortune-hunters. The 
point, however, is not very apparent, and indeed Gillray's earliert carica- 
tures are tame, ahhough it is remarkable how rapidly he improved, and 
how foon he arrived at excellence. Two caricatures, publilhed in June 
and July, 1782, on the occafion of admiral Rodney's victory, are looked 
upon as marking his firll decided appearance m politics. 

A diltinguifhing charaderillic of Gillray's llyle is, the wonderful laiH 
with which he feizes upon the points in his fubje6t open to ridicule, and 
the force with which he brings thofe points out. In the finenefs of his 
delign, and in his grouping and drawing, he excels all the other cari- 
caturirts. He was, indeed, born with all the talents of a great hillorical 
painter, and, but for circumltances, he probably would have Ihone in that 
branch of art. This excellence will be the more appreciated when it is 
underftood that he drew his picture with the needle on the plate, without 
having made any previous iketch of it, except fometimes a few halty 
outlines of individual portraits or charaders fcrawled on cards or fcraps of 
paper as they ftruck him. 

Soon after the two caricatures on Rodney's naval victory, the Rocking- 
ham adminittration was broken up by the death of its chief, and another 
was formed under the diredion of Lord Shelburne, from which Fox and 
Burke retired, leaving in it their (jld colleague, Pitt, who now deferted 
the Whig party in parliament. Fox and Burke became from this monu-nt 
the butt of all forts of abufe and fcornful fatire from the caricaturifts, fuch 
as Sayer, and newfpaper writers in the pay of their opponents; and 
Gillray, perhaps becaufe it oti'ered at that moment the bell chance of 
popularity and fuccefs, joined in the crufade againft the two ex-minitlers 
and their friends. In one of his caricatures, which is a parody upon Milton, 
Fox is reprefented in the charader of Satan, turning his back upon the 
minifterial Paradife, but looking envioufly over his ihoulder at the happy 
pair (Shelburne and Pitt) who are counting their money on the treafury 
table : — ^r, i j 

jHjtde he turned 
For envy, yet %vit/i jeahui leer malign 
Eyed them ajkance. 


466 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Another, alfo by Gillray, is entitled " Guy Faux and Judas Ifcariot," the 
former reprefented by Fox, who difcovers the defertion of his late colleague, 
lord Shelburne, by the light of his lantern, and recriminates angrily, 
*'Ah! what, I've found you out, have I? Who arm'd the high priefts 
and the people ? Who betray'd his mas — ?" At this point he is inter- 
rupted by a fneering retort from Shelburne, who is carrying away the 
treafury bag with a look of great felf-coraplacency, " Ha, ha ! poor Gun- 
powder's vexed ! He, he, he ! — Shan't have the bag, I tell you, old 
Goofetooth !" Burke was ufually caricatured as a Jefuit; and in another 
of Gillray's prints of this time (publilhed Aug. 23, 1782), entitled " Cin- 
cinnatus in Retirement," Burke is reprefented as driven into the retire- 
ment of his Irifli cabin, where he is^ furrounded by Popifli relics and 
emblems of fuperftition, and by the materials for drinking whilky. A 
veffel, infcribed " Relick No. i., ufed by St. Peter," is filled with boiled 
potatoes, which Jefuit Burke is paring. Three imps are feen dancing 
under the table. 

In 1783 the Shelburne miniftry itfelf was diflblved, and fucceeded by 
the Portland miniftry, in which Fox was fecretary of ftate for foreign 
affairs, and Burke; paymafter of the forces, and Lord North, who had 
joined the Whigs againft lord Shelburne, now obtained ofRce as fecretary 
for the home department. Gillray joined warmly in the attacks on this 
coalition of parties, and from this time his great aftivity as a caricaturift 
begins. Fox, efpecially, and Burke, ftill under the chara6ter of a Jefuit, 
were incelfantly held up to ridicule in his prints. In another year this 
miniftry alfo was overthrown, and young William Pitt became eftablifhed 
in power, while the ex-minifters, now the oppofition, had become un- 
popular throughout the country. The caricature of Gillray followed 
them, and Fox and Burke conftantly appeared under his hands in fome 
ridiculous fituation or other. But Gillray was not a hired libeller, like 
Sayer and fome of the lower caricaturifts of that time ; he evidently chofe 
his fubjeds, in fome degree independently, as thofe which offered him 
the beft mark for ridicule ; and he had fo little refpecSt for the minifters 
or the court, that they all felt his fatire in turn. Thus, when the plan of 
national fortifications — brought forward by the duke of Richmond, who 

/;; Literature and Art. 


had deferted the Whigs to be made a Tory minifter, as mafter-general of 
the ordnance — was defeated in the Houfe of Commons in 1787, the beft 
caricature it provoked was one by Gillray, entitled " Honi foit qui mal y 
penfe," which reprefents the horror of the duke of Richmond at being fo 
unceremonioully compelled to fwallow his own fortilications (cut No. 222). 

No. 222. A Strong Dofe. 

It is lord Shelburne, who had now become marquis of Lanfdowne, who 
is reprelented as adminiftering the bitter dofe. Some months afterwards, 
in the famous impeachment againft Warren Haftings, Gillray fided 
warmly againft the impeachers, perhaps partly becaufe thefe were Burke 
and his friends; yet feveral of his caricatures on this affair are aimed at 
the minifters, and even at the king himfelf. Lord Thurlow, who was a 
favourite with the king, and who fupported the caufe of Warren Haftings 
with firmnet, after he had been deferted by Pitt and the other minifters, 
was efpecially an obje6t of Gillray's fatire. Thurlow, it will be remem- 
bered, was rather celebrated for profane fwearing, and was fometimes 
fpoken of as the tlumderer. One of the fineft of Gillray's caricatures ai 
this period, publilhed on the ift of March, 1788, is entitled "Blood on 
Thunder fording the Red Sea," and reprefents Warren Haftings carried 
on jchancellor Thurlow's ftioulders through a fea of blood, Ilrewed with 

468 Hijlory of Caricature and Grotefque 

tKe mangled corpfes of Hindoos. As will be feen in our copy of the 
moft important part of this print (cut No. 223), the " faviour of India," 
as he was called by his friends, has taken care to fecure his gains. A 
remarkably bold caricature by Gillray againft the government appeared 
on the 2nd of May in this year. It is entitled " Market-Day — every man 
has his price," and reprefents a fcene in Smithfield, where the horned 
cattle expofed for fale are the fupporters of the king's miniftry. Lord 

A'o. 223. Blood on Thunder. 

Thurlow, with his charaderiflic frown, appears as the principal purchafer. 
Pitt, and his friend and colleague Dundas, are reprefented drinking and 
fmoking jovially at the window of a public-houfe. On one fide Warren 
Haltings is riding off with the king in the form of a calf, which he has 
jull purchafed, for Haftings was popularly believed to have worked upon 
king George's avarice by rich prefents of diamonds. On another fide, 
the overwhelming rufli of the cattle is throwing over the van in which 
Fox, Burke, and Sheridan are driving. This plate deferves to be placed 
among Gillray's fineft works. 

Gillray caricatured the heir to the throne with bitternefs, perhaps 

in Literature and Art, 469 

becaule his dillipation and extravagance rendered him a fair fubjeft of 
ridicule, and becaufe he airociated himfelf with Fox's party in poHtics ; 
but his hoftihty to the king is afcribed in part to perfonal feelings. A 
large and very remarkable print by our arlill, though his name was not. 
attached to it, and one which difplays in a fpecial manner the great 
charac^eriltics of Gillray's ftyle, appeared on the 21ft of April, 1786, jull 
after an application had been made to the Houfe of Commons for a large 
fum of money to pay off the king's debts, which were very great, in Ipite 
of the enormous income then attached to the crown. George was known 
as a careful and even a parfimonious man, and the queen was looked 
upon generally as a mean and very avaricious woman, and people were 
at a lofs to account for this extraordinary expenditure, and they tried to 
explain it in various ways which were not to the credit of the royal pair. 
It was faid that immenfe funis were fpent In fecret corruption to pave 
the way to the eftablilhment of arbitrary power ; that the king was 
making large favings, and hoarding up treafures at Hanover; and that, 
inftead of fpending money on his family, he allowed his eldeft fon to run 
into ferious difficulties through the fmallnefs of his allowance, and thus to 
become an obje6t of pity to his French friend, the wealthy due d'Orleans, 
who had offered him relief. The caricature juft mentioned, which is 
extremely fevere, is entitled " A new way to pay the National Debt." 
It reprefents the entrance to the treafury, from which king George and 
his queen, with their band of penfioners, are ilfuing, their pockets, 
and the queen's apron, fo full of money, that the coins are rolling out 
and fcattering about the ground. Neverthelefs, Pitt, whofe pockets alfo 
are full, adds to the royal trealures large bags of the national revenue, 
which are received with fmiles of fatisfaftion. To the left, a crippled 
foldier fits on the ground, and afks in vain for relief j while the wall above 
is covered with torn placards, on fome of which may be read, " God fave 
the King ;" " Charity, a romance ;" " From Germany, juft arrived a large 
and royal alTortment .... ;" and " Laft dying fpcech of fifty-four male- 
fadtors executed for robbing a hen-rooft." The latter is a fatirical allu- 
fion to the notorious feverity with which the moft trifling depredators on 
iUa king's private farm were profecuted. In the backgrountl, un the 

470 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

right hand fide of the pifture, the prince appears in ragged garments, and 
in want of charity no lefs than the cripple, and near him is the duke of 
Orleans, who offers him a draft for ^200,000. On the placards on the 
walls here we read fuch announcements as " Economy, an old fong j" 
"Britifli property, a farce;" and " Juft publilhed, for the benefit of 
pofl:erity, the dying groans of Liberty 3" and one, immediately over the 
prince's head, bears the prince's feathers, with the motto, " Ich fl:arve." 
Altogether this is one of the mofl: remarkable of Gillray's caricatures. 

The parfimonioufnefs of the king and queen was the fubjeft of carica- 
tures and fongs in abundance, in which thefe illufl;rious perfonages appeared 

No. 22^, Farmer George and hh Wife, 

haggling with their tradefmen, and making bargains in perfon, rejoicing in 
having thus faved a fmall fum of money. It was faid that George kept a 
farm at Windfor, not for his amufement, but to draw a fmall profit from it. 
By Peter Pindar he is defcribed as rejoicing over the fkili he has fhown 
in purchafing his live ftock as bargains. Gillray feized greedily all thefe 
points of ridi^^ule, and, as early as 1786, he publifhed a print of" Farmer 
George and his Wife " (fee our cut No. 224), in which the two royal 

/// Liter ature and Art. 47 1 

perfonages are reprefented in the very familiar manner in which they 
were accuftomed to walk about Windfor and its neighbourhood. This 
picture appears to have been very popular; and years afterwards, in a 
caricature on a fcene in "The School for Scandal," where, in the lale of 
the young profligate's efiefts, the auctioneer puts up a family portrait, for 
which a broker offers live fliillings, and Carelefs, the audioneer, fays, 
" Going for no more than one crown," the family piece is the well- 
known piAure of '• Farmer George and his Wife," and the ruined 
prodigal is the prince of Wales, who exclaims, " Carelefs, knock down 
the farmer." 

Many caricatures againft the undignified meannefs of the royal houfe- 
hold appeared during the years 1791 and 1792, when the king paffea 
much of his time at his favourite watering-place, Weymouth ; and there 
his domeflic habits had become more and more an obje6l of remark. It 
was faid that, under the pretence of Weymouth being an expenfive place, 
and taking advantage of the obligations of the royal mail to carry parcels 
for the king free, he had his provifions brought to him by that conveyance 
fj-om his farm at Windfor. On the 2Sth of November, 1791, Gillray 
publirtied a caricature on the homelinefs of the royal houfehold, in two 
compartments, in one of which the king is reprefented, in a drefs which is 
anything but that of royalty, toafting his muffins for breakfaft j and in the 
other, queen Charlotte, in no lefs homely drefs, though her pocket is over- 
flowing with money, toafling fjjrats for fupper. In another of Gillray's 
prints, entitled " Anti-faccharites," the king and queen are teaching their 
daughters economy in taking their tea without fugar; as the young 
princeffes fliow fome diflike to the experiment, the queen admonilhes 
them, concluding with the remark, " Above ail, remember how much 
expenfe it will fave your poor papa ! " 

According to a ftory which feems to be authentic, Gillray's diflike of 
the king was embittered at this time by an incident fomcwhat fimilar to 
that by which George II. had provoked the anger of Hogarth. Gillray 
had vifited France, Flanders, and Holland, and he had made Iketches, 
a few of which he engraved. Our cut No. 225 reprefents a group from 
OBC of thcfe flietches, which explains itfclf, and is a fair example of 

472 Hijtory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

Gillray's manner of drawing fiich fubje£ts. He accompanied the painter 
Loutherbourg, who had left his native city of Stralburg to fettle in 
England, and become the king's favourite artift, to affifi: him in making 
Iketches for his great painting of " The Siege of Valenciennes," Gillray 
iketching groups of figures while Loutherbourg drew the landfcape 
and buildings. After their return, the king expreffed a defire to fee 
their Iketches, and they were placed before him. Loutherbourg's 
landfcapes and buildings were plain drawings, and eafy to under- 
Itand, and the king expreffed himfelf greatly pleafed with them. But 

2^0. 225. A Flerr.ifh Proclamation. 

the king's mind was already prejudiced againfl Gillray for his fatirical 
prints, and when he faw his hafty and rough, though fpirited Iketches, of 
the French foldiers, he threw them afide contemptuoufly, with the 
remark, " I don't underftand thefe caricatures." Perhaps the very word 
he ufed was intended as a fneer upon Gillray, who, we are told, felt the 
affront deeply^ and he proceeded to retort by a caricature, which ftruck at 
once at one of the king's vanities, and at his political prejudices. 
George III. imagined himfelf a great connoiffeur in the fine arts, and the 
caricature was entitled ' A Connoiffeur examining a Cooper." It repre- 

in Literature and Art. 


fented the king looking at the celebrated miniature of Oliver Cromwell, 
by the Englilh painter, Samuel Cooper. When Gillray had completed 
this print, he is faid to have exclaimed, "I wonder if the royal ccnnoilfeur 
will underftand this I " It was publilhed on the i8th of June, 1792, and 
cannot have failed to produce a feufation at that period of revolutions. 
The king is made to exhibit a ftrange mixture of alarm with aftonilliment 
in contemplating the features of this great overthrower of kingly power, 
at a moment when all kingly power was threatened. It will be remarked, 
too, that the fatirift has not overlooked the royal charafter for domcftic 

No. 226. A Connoijfeur in Art. 

economy, for, as will be feen in our cut No, 226, the king is looking at 
the picture by the light of a candle-end ftuck on a " fave-all." 

From this time Gillray rarely let pafs an opportunity of caricaturing 
the king. Sometimes he pi6tured his awkward and undignified gait, as 
he was accuftomed to fhuffle along the efplanade at Weymouth j fome- 
times in the familiar manner in which, in the courfe of his walks in the 
neighbourhood of his Windfor farm, he accofted the conimoneft labourers 
and cottagers, and overwhelmed them with a long repetition of trivial 
qiieftions — for king George had a charaderillic manner of repeating his 
queftions, and of frequently giving the reply to them hinifrlf. 

Thtn afki the farmer'' I ivife, or farmtr''i maij, 
** i/ilf mjny e^gi the foivli hu-ve laid i 

474 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

What 'i in the O'ven, in the pot, the crock ; ^ 

Whether ""tiuill ram or no, and 'what''s o'' clock ; 
Thus from poor hovels gleaning information. 
To fer-ve as future treajure for the nation. 

So faid Peter Pindar ; and in this role king George was reprefented not 
unfrequently in fatirical prints. On the loth of February Gillray 
illuftrated the quahty of " AfFabihty " in a pidure of one of thefe ruflic 
encounters. The king and queen, taking their walk, have arrived at a 
cottage, where a very coarfe example of Englifh peafantry is feeding his 
pigs with wafh. The fcene is reprefented in our cut No. 227. The vacant 

No. 227. Royal Affability. 

ftare of the countryman betrays his confuhon at the rapid fucceflion of 
queftions — "Well, friend, where a' you going, hay? — What's your name, 
hay? — Where do you live, hay? — hay?" In other prints the king is 
reprefented running into ludicrous adventures while hunting, an amufe- 

ill Literature and Art. 


ment to which he was extremely attached. One of the bed known of 
thefe has been celebrated equally by the pen of Peter Pindar and by the 
needle of Gillray. It was laid that one day while king George was 
following the chafe, he came to a poor cottage, where his.ufual curiolity 
was rewarded by the difcovery of an old woman making apple dumplings. 
When informed what they were, he could not conceal his aftonilhment 
how the apples could have been introduced without leaving a feam in 
their covering. In the caricature by Gillray, from which we take our cut 
No. 228, the king is reprefented looking at the procefs of dumpling mak- 
ing through the window, inquiring in aftonilhment, " Hay ? hay ? apple 

^0. 228. A Leffin in Apple Dumplings. 

dumplings? — how get the apples in? — how? Are they made without 
feams?" The ftory is told more fully in the following verfes of Peter 
Pindar, which will ferve as the bell commentary on the engraving : — 


Once on a time a monarch, tired tvith wAoopinfr, 
IVhipping and fpurringy 
Happy in "worrying 
yi poor, def<r\celcfi, harmleji buck 
(The horje and rider -wet as muck), 
Fr'-m hit high conjequence and tvifdom /looping, 
Enter'd through curiofity a cot, 
Where Jat a poor eld ■woman and her pot. 

476 Hi/iory of Caricature and Grotefqiie 

The wrinkled, blear-eyed, good old granny, 

In this fame cot, ilium'' d by many a cranny. 
Had fnip' d apple dumplings foi- her pot. 

In tempting rotu the naked dumplings lay, 

JVhen lo ! the monarch in his ujual ivay 
Like lightening jpoke, " What this ? ivhat this ? luhat ? what /"' 
Then taking up a dumpling in his hand. 
His eyes with admiration did expand. 

And oft did majejiy the dumpling grapple. 
" 'T/'i monjlrous, monjlrous hard, indeed ? " he cried ; 
" What makes it, pray, Jo hard ? " — The dame replied, 

L01U curt/eying, " Pleafe your majeJly, the apple.'''' 
" Very ajionijhing, 'indeed ! ftrange thing I " 
Turning the dumpling round, rejoined the king ; 

" ' Tis mojl extraordinary then, all this is — 

It beats Pinett'rs conjuring all to pieces — 
Strange I fliould ne-ver of a dumpling dream I 
But, Goody, tell me where, ivhere, •where'' s the f earn ? " 
" S'tr, there^s no feam,'''' quoth jhe, " / ne-ver knew 
That folks did apple dumplings fetv.^'' / 

" No 1 " cr'ied the Jlar'mg monarch with a grin, 
" H01V, hoiv the devil got the apple in /"' 
On ivhich the dame the cur'ious fiheme reveaPd 
By ivh'tch the apple lay fo Jly conceal d. 

Which made the Solomon of Britain Jiart ; 
Who to the palace ivith full Jpeed repaired 
And queen, and pr'tncefj'es Jo beauteous, feared. 

All ivith the wonders of the dumpling art. 
There did he labour one ivhole iveek, to fhoiv 
The ivifdom of an apple dumpling maker ; 
And lo! fo deep ivas majefly in dough. 

The palace feem^ d the lodging of a baker ! 

Gillray was not the only caricaturift who turned the king's weaknefTes 
to ridicule, but none caricatured them with fo little gentlenefs, or 
evidently with fo good a will. On the 7th of March, 1796, the princeft 
of Wales gave birth to a daughter, fo well known (ince as the princefs 
Charlotte. The king is faid to have been charmed with his grandchild, 
and this fentiment appears to have been anticipated by the public, for 
on the 13th of February, when the princefs's accouchment was looked 
forward to with general intereft, a print appeared under the title of 
" Grandpapa in his Glory." In this caricature, which is given in 

/;; Literature and Art. 


our cut No. 229, king George, feated, is reprelVnted nurling and 
feeding the royal infant in an extraordinary degree of homclineli. He 
is finging the nurfery rhyme — 

There ivas a laugh and a craw. 
There tvas a g'gg/irg honey, 
Gocdy good girl jhali be fed. 

But naughty girl fhall have ncney. 

This print bears no name, but it is known to be by Woodward, though 
it betrays an attempt to imitate the Ityle of Gillray. Gillray was often 

A'o. 229. Grandfather George. 

imitated in this manner, and his prints were not unfrequently copied and 
pirated. He even at times copied himfclf, and difguifed his own liylc, 
for the fake of gaining money. 

At the period of the regency bill in 1789, Gillray attacked Pitt's 
{)olicy in that aHair with great feverity. In a caricature publilhed on the 
3rd of January, he drew the premier in the charafter of an over-gorged 
vuhure, willi one claw fixed firmly on the crown and fceptre, and with 

47 8 Hijlory of Caricature and Grot ef que 

the other feizing upon the prince's coronet, from which he is plucking 
the feathers. Among other good caricatures on this occafion, perhaps 
the fineft is a parody on FufeU's pifture of "The Weird Sifters," in which 
Dundas, Pitt, and Thurlow, as the fillers, are contemplating the moon, 
the bright fide of whofe difc reprefents the face of the queen, and the 
other that of the king, overcaft with mental darknefs. Gillray took a 
ftrongly hoftile view of the French revolution, and produced an immenfe 
number of caricatures againfl the French and their rulers, and their 
friends, or fuppofed friends, in this country, daring the period extending 
from 1790 to the eariier years of the prefent century. Through all the 
changes of miniftry or policy, he feems to have fixed himfelf ftrongly on 
individuals, and he feldom ceafed to caricature the perfon who had once 
provoked his attacks. So it was with the lord chancellor Thurlow, who 
became the butt of favage fatire in fome of his prints which appeared in 
1792, at the time when Pitt forced him to refign the chancellorlliip. 
Among thefe is one of the boldeft: caricatures which he ever executed. 
It is a parody, fine almoft to fublimity, on a well-known fcene in Milton, 
and is entitled, " Sin, Death, and the Devil." The queen, as Sin, rufhes 
to feparate the two combatants. Death (in the femblance of Pitt) and 
Satan (in that of Thurlow). During the latter part of the century Gillray 
caricatured all parties in turn, whether minifi;erial or oppofition, with 
indifcriminate vigour ; but his hoflility towards the party of Fox, whom 
he perfifted in regarding, or at leaft in reprefenting, as unpatriotic revo- 
lutionifts, was certainly greatefi:. In 1803 he worked energetically againfl: 
the Addington miniftry; and in 1806 he caricatured that which was 
known by the title of "All the Talents;" but during this later period of 
his life his labours were more efpecially aimed at keeping up the fpirit of 
his countrymen againft the threats and defigns of our foreign enemies. 
It was, in fad, the caricature which at that time met with the greateft 

In his own perfon, Gillray had lived a life of great irregularity, and as 
he grew older, his habits of diflipation and intemperance increafed, and 
gradually broke down his intelle6t. Towards the year 181 i he ceafed 
producing any original works ; the laft plate he executed was a drawing 

i?j Literature and Art. 479 

of Bunbur>''s, entitled "A Barber's Shop in Affize Time/ which is 
fiippofed to have been linilhed in the January of that year. Soon after- 
wards his mind fank into idiotcy, from which it never recovered. James 
Gillray died ;n 1815, and was buried in St. James's churchyard, Piccadilly, 
near the rectory houle. 

480 Hi/lory of Caricature and Grotefque 


GILLRAy's caricatures on social life. THOMAS ROWLANDSON. HIS 



GILLRAY" was, beyond all others, the great political caricaturili of 
his age. His works form a complete hiftory of the greater and 
more important portion of the reign of George III. He appears to have 
had lefs tafte for general caricature, and his caricatures on fecial life are 
lefs numerous, and with a few exceptions lefs important, than thofe which 
were called forth by political events. The exceptions are chiefly fa'tires 
on individual chara6ters, which are marked by the fame bold ftyle which 
is difplayed in his political attacks. Some of his caricatures on the 
extravagant coftume of the time, and on its more prominent vices, fuch 
as the rage for gambling, are alfo fine, but his fecial (ketches generally 
are much inferior to his other works. 

This, however, was not the cafe with his contemporary, Thomas 
Rowlandfon, who doubtlefsly ftands fecond to Gillray, and may, in fome 
refpefts, be confidered his equal. Rowlandfon was born in the Old 
Jewry in London, the year before that of the birth of Gillray, in the July 
of 1756. His father was a city merchant, who had the means to give 
him a good education, but embarking raflily in fome unfuccefsful (pecula- 
tions, he fell into reduced circumftances, and the fon had to depend upon 
the liberality of a relative. His uncle, Thomas Rowlandlbn, after whom 
probably he was named, had married a French lady, a Mademoilelle 
Chatelier, who was now a widow, refiding in Paris, with what would be 
confidered in that capital a handlome fortune, and fhe appears to have 
been attached to her Englifh nephew, and fupplied him rather freely with 
money. Young Rowlandfon had ihown at an early age great talent for 

in Literature and Art. 48 1 

drawing, with an efpecial turn for fatire. As a fchoolboy, he covered the 
margins of his books with caricatures upon his mafter and upon hisfellow- 
fcholars, and at the age of fixteen he was admitted a ftudent in the Royal 
Academy in London, then in its inflincy. But he did not profit imme- 
diately by this admilhon, for his aunt invited him to Paris, where he 
began and followed his ftudies in art with great fuccefs, and was remarked 
for the Ikill with which he drew the body. His lludies from 
nature, while in Paris, are faid to have been remarkably tine. Nor did 
his tafte for fatirical delign fail liim, tor it was one of his greateft amufe- 
ments to caricature the numerous individuals, and groups of individuals, 
who mult in that age have prefented objedts of ridicule to a lively 
Englilhman. During this time his aunt died, leaving him all her 
property, confifting of about s£j,ooo in money, and a confiderable amount 
in plate and other obje6ts. The fudden polfellion of fo much money 
proved a misfortune to young Rowlandfon. He appears to have had an 
early love for gaiety, and he now yielded to all the temptations to vice 
held out by the French metropolis, and efpecially to an uncontrollable 
pallion for gambling, through which he foon dilfipated his fortune. 

Before this, however, had been effeded, Rowlandfon, after having 
refided in Paris about two years, returned to London, and continued his 
(ludies in the Royal Academy. But he appears for fome years to have 
given himfelf up entirely to his diflipated habits, and to have worked only 
at inter\als, when he was driven to it by the want of money. We are 
told by one who was intimate with him, that, when leduced to this con- 
dition, he ufed to exclaim, holding up his pencil, " I have been playing 
the fool, but here is my refource!" and he would then produce — with 
extraordinary rapidity — caricatures enough to fupply his momentary 
wants. Moft of Rowlandfon's earlier produdions were publifhed anony- 
moufly, but here and there, among large colle6tions, we meet with a 
print, which, by comparifon of the ftyle with that of his eariieft 
known works, we can hardly hefitate in afcribing to him ; and from 
thefe it would a])|)ear that he had begun with political caricature, 
bocaufe, (x-rhaps, at that period of great agitation, it was mull tailed 
for^ and, therefore, niofl profitable. Three of the earhell of the political 

I I 

482 Hi ft or y of Caricature and Grot ef que 

caricatures thus afcribed to Rowlandfon belong to the year 1784, 
when he was twenty-eight years of age, and relate to the diflTolution of 
parliament in that year, the refult of which was the ellabliftiment of 
William Pitt in power. The firft, publifhed on the nth of March, is 
entitled "The Champion of the People." Fox is reprefented under this 
title, armed with the fword of Juftice and the Ihield of Truth, combat- 
ing the many-headed hydra, its mouths refpedively breathing forth 
"Tyranny," "AlTumed Prerogative," "Defpotifm," " Oppreffion," " Secret 
Influence," " Scotch Politics," "Duplicity," and "Corruption." Some 
of thefe heads are already cut off. The Dutchman, Frenchman, and 
other foreign enemies are feen in the background, dancing round the 
ftandard of " Sedition." Fox is fupported by numerous bodies of Englilh 
and Irifhmen, the Englifli fliouting, "While he protefts us, we will 
fupport him." The Irilli, " He gave us a free trade and all we afked ; 
he fhall have our firm fupport." Natives of India, in allufion to his un- 
fuccefsful India Bill, kneel by his fide and pray for his fuccefs. The 
fecond of thefe caricatures was publillied on the 26th of March, and is 
entitled "The State Audtion." Pitt is the audlioneer, and is reprefented 
as knocking down with the hammer of "prerogative" all the valuable 
articles of the confl:itution. The clerk is his colleague, Henry Dundas, 
who holds up a weighty lot, entitled, "Lot i. The Rights of the People." 
Pitt calls to him, " Show the lot this way, Harry — a'going, a'going — 
fpeak quick, or it's gone — hold up the lot, ye Dund-afsl" The clerk 
replies in his Scottifh accent, " I can hould it na higher, fir." The Whig 
members, under the title of the " chofen reprefenters," are leaving the 
audlion room in difcouragement, with refledions in their mouths, fuch as, 
"Adieu to Liberty!" " Defpair not !' " Now or never ! " While Fox 
flands firm in the caufe, and exclaims — "I am determined to bid wiiti 
fpirit for Lot i ; he Ihall pay dear for it that outbids me !" Pitt's Tory 
fupporters are ranged under the audioneer, and are called the " here- 
ditary virtuofis 5" and their leader, who appears to be the lord chancellor, 
addreflTes them in the words, "Mind not the nonfenfical biddings of thofe 
common fellows." Dundas remarks, "We Ihall get the fupplies by this 
iale." The third of thefe caricatures is dated on the o^i^ of March. 

in Literature and Art. 483 

when the eledions had commenced, and is entitled, " The Hanoverian 
Horfe and Britilh Lion — a Scene in a new Play, lately a6led in Weft- 
minfter, with diftinguilhed applaufe. Ad 2nd, Scene laft." At the 
back of the pidure ftands the vacant throne, with the intimation, " We 
lliall refume our fituation here at plealure, Leo Rex." In front, the 
Hanoverian horfe, unbridled, and without faddle, neighs " pre-ro-ro-ro-ro- 
rogative," and is trampling on the fafeguard of the conftitution, while it 
kicks out violently the "faithful commons" (alluding to the recent dif- 
folution of parliament). Pitt, on the back of the horfe, cries, " Bravo ! — 
go it again! — I love to ride a mettled fteed ; fend the vagabonds 
packing!" Fox appears on the other fide of the pidiure, mounted on the 
Britilh lion, and holding a whip and bridle in his hand. He fays to Pitt, 
"Prithee, Billy, difmount before ye get a fall, and let fome abler jockey 
take your feat;" and the lion obferves, indignantly, but with gravity, 
" If this horfe is not tamed, he will foon be abfolute king of our foreft." 

If thefe prints are correftly afcribed to Rowlandfon, we fee him here 
fairly entered in the lifts of political caricature, and fiding with Fox and 
the Whig party. He difplays the fame boldnefs in attacking the king 
and his minifters which was difplayed by Gillray — a boldnefs that pro- 
bably did much towards preferving the liberties of the country from what 
was no doubt a refolute attempt to trample upon them, at a time when 
caricature formed a very powerful weapon. Before this time, however, 
Rowlandfon's pencil had become pra6tifed in thofe burlefque pidures of 
fecial life for which he became afterwards fo celebrated. At firft he 
feems to have publifhed his defigns under fiditious names, and one now 
before me, entitled "The Tythe Pig," bears the early date of 1786, with 
the name of " Wigftead," no doub: an affi-imed one, which is found on 
fome others of his early prints. It reprefents the country parfon, in his 
own parlour, receiving the tribute of the tithe pig from an interefting 
lookmg farmer's wife. The name of Rowlandfon, with the date 1792, 
is attached to a ver)' clever and humorous etching which is now alfo 
before me, entitled " Cold Broth and Calamity," and reprefenting a party 
of fkaters, who have fallen in a heap upon the ice, which is breaking 
uq^der their weight. It bears the name of Fores aspubliflier. From 

484 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

this time, and efpecially toward the clofe of the century, Rowlandfon's 
caricatures on focial life became very numerous, and they are fo well 
known that it becomes unnecelTary, nor indeed would it be eafy, to ieleft 
a few examples which would illuftrate all his charafteriftic excellencies. 
In prints publifhed by Fores at the beginning of 1794, the addrefs of the 
publillier is followed by the words, " where may be had all Rowlandfon's 
works," which fhows how great was his reputation as a caricaturift at that 
time. It may be ftated briefly that he was difliinguiflied by a remarkable 
verfatility of talent, by a great fecundity of imagination, and by a Ikill in 
grouping quite equal to that of Gillray, and with a Angular eafe in 
forming his groups of a great number of figures. Among thofe of his 
contemporaries who fpoke of him with the higheft praife were fir Jofhua 
Reynolds and Benjamin Wefi:. It has been remarked, too, that no artift 
ever pofTeflTed the power of Rowlandfon of expreffing fo much with fo 
little eflfort. We trace a great difference in ftyle between Rowlandfon's 
earlier and his later works; although there is a general identity of cha- 

No. 230. Opera Beauties. 

rafter which cannot be miftaken. The figures in the former ftiow a tafle 
for grace and elegance that is rare in his later works, and we find a deli- 
cacy of beauty in his females which he appears afterwards to have entirely 
laid afide. An example of his earlier ftyle in depifting female faces is fur- 
niflied by the pretty farmer's wife, in the print of "The Tythe Pig," jnft 
alluded to ; and I may quote as another example, an etching publifhed on 

i?i LitcrcJturc ivui Art. 


the ift of January, 1794, under the title of " Englilh Curiofity ; or, the 
loreigner Ilared out of countenance." An individual, in a foreign colhime, 
is feated in the front row of the boxes'of a theatre, probably intended 
for the opera, where he has become the obje6t of curiolity of the whole 
audience, and all eyes are eagerly direded upon him. The faces of the 
men are rather coarfely grotefque, but thofe of the ladies, two of which 
are given in our cut No. 230, pollefs a conliderable degree of refinement. 
He appears, however, to liave been naturally a man of no real refine- 
ment, who eafily gave himfelf up to low and vulgar taftes, and, as his 
caricature became more exaggerated and coarfe, his females became lefs 
and lets graceful, until his model of female beauty appears to have been 
reprefented by fomething like a fat oyfler-woman. Our cut No. 231, 

A'o. 231. 'I'he Trumpet and BaJJoon. 

taken from a print in the poirdhon of Mr. Fairholt, entitled, " The 
Trumpet and Balloon," prefenls a good example of Rowlandfon's oroaa 
liuraour, and of his favourite models of the huinan fice. We can almolt 
fancy we hear the different tones of this brace of fnorers. 

A good example of Rowlandfon's grotelijues of the human figure is 

486 Hi [lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

given in our cut No. 232, taken from a print publiflied on the ift of 
January, I'/gd, under the title of "Anything will do for an Olficer. * 
People complained of the mean "appearance of the officers in our armies, 
who obtained their rank, it was pretended, by favour and purchafe rather 

No. 232. A Model Officer. 

than by merit ; and this caricature is explained by an infcription beneath, 
which informs us how " Some fchool-boys, who were playing at foldiers, 
found one of their number fo ill-made, and fo much under fize, that he 
would have disfigured the whole body if put into the ranks. ' What 
fliall we do with him?' alked one. *Do with him?* fays another, 
' why make an officer of him.' " This plate is infcribed with his name, 
" Rowlandfon fecit." 

Kt this time Rowlandfon ffill continued to work for Fores, but before 
the end of the century we find him working for Ackermann, of the 
Strand, who continued to be his friend and employer during the reft of 
his life, and is faid to have helped him generoufiy in many difficulties. 
In thefe, indeed, he was continually involved by his diffipatlon and 

in Literature and Art. 


thoughtlefliiels. Ackermann not only employed him in etching the 
drawings of other caricaturills, efpecially of Bunbury, but in furnifhing 
illuftrations to books, fuch as the feveral feries of Dr. Syntax, the " jS'ew 
Dance of Death," and others. Rowlandfon's illuftrations to editions of 
the older ftandard novels, fuch as "Tom Jones," are remarkably clever. 
In transferring the works of other caricaturifts to the copper, Rowlandfon 
was in the habit of giving his own ftyle to them to fuch a degree, that 
nobody would fufped that they were not his own, if the name of the 
defigner were not attached to them. I have given one example of this 
in a former chapter, and another very curious one is furnilhed by a print 
now before me, entitled "Anglers of 181 1," which bears only the name 
" H. Bunbury del.," but which is in every particular a pcrfc6t example of 

No. 233. Antlquar'tei at Work. 

the ftyle of Rowlandfon. During the latter part of his life Rowlandfoa 
amufed himfelf with making an immenfe number of drawings which were 
never engraved, but many of which have been preferved and are ftill 
found fcatlercd tlirough the portfolios of collc6tors. Thcfe are generally 
better finiftied than his etchings, and are all more or lefs burkfque. Our 
•ut No. 233 is taken from one of thcfe drawings, in the pufllJlion of 

488 Hi /lory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Mr. Fairholt J it reprefents a party of antiquaries engaged in important 
excavations. No doubt the fissures were intended for well-known archae- 
ologifts of the day. 

Thomas Rowlandfon died in poverty, in lodgings in the Adelphi, on 
the 22nd of April, 1827. 

Among the mofl, aftive caricaturifts of the beginning of the prefent 
century we muft not overlook Ifaac Cruikfhank, even if it were only 
becaufe the name has become fo celebrated in that of his more talented 
fon. Ifaac's caricatures, too, were equal to thofe of any of his contem- 
poraries, after Gillray and Rowlandfon. One of the earliefl: examples 
which I have feen bearing the well-known initials, I. C, was publillied 
on the loth of March, 1794, the year in which George Cruikfliank was 
born, and probably, therefore, when Ifaac was quite a young man. It is 
entitled "A Republican Belle," and is an evident imitation of Gillray. 
In another, dated the ift of November, 1795, Pitt is reprefented as " The 
Royal Extinguilher," putting out the flame of" Sedition." Ifaac Cruik- 
fliank publiflied many prints anonymoufly, and among the numerous cari- 
catures of the latter end of the laft century we meet with many which 
have no name attached to them, but which referable fo exa6tly his known 
flyle, that we can hardly hefitate in afcribing them to him. It will be 
remarked that in his acknowledged works he caricatures the oppofition ; 
but perhaps, like other caricaturifts of his time, he worked privately for 
anybody who would pay him, and was as willing to work againft; the 
government as for it, for molt of the prints which betray their author only 
by their ftyle are caricatures on Pitt and his meafures. Such is the group 
given in our cut No. 234, which was publiflied on the 15th of Auguft, 
1797, at a time when there were loud complaints againft the burthen of 
taxation. It is entitled " Billy's Raree-Show ; or, John Bull £«-lighten'd," 
and reprefents Pitt, in the character of a fliowman, exhibiting to John 
Bull, and picking his pocket while his attention is occupied with the 
fhow. Pitt, in a true Ihowman's ftyle, fays to his vidim, " Now, pray 
lend your attention to the enchanting profpeft before you, — this is the 
profpe6t of peace — only obferve what a bufy fcene prefents itfelf — the 
ports are filled with ihipping, the quays loaded with merchandife, riches 

in Literature and Art. 


are riowing in from every quarter — this prolped alope is worth all the 
money you have got about you." Accordingly, the lhu\vn)3n abitra6ts 
trie fame money from his pocket, while John Bull, unconfcious of the 
theft, exclaims with furprife, " Mayhap it may, mafter fhowman, but I 
canna zee ony thing like what you mentions, — I zees nothing but a 

No. 2 J 4. Tht Rarce-Shoiu, 

woide plain, with fome mountains and molehills upon't — as fure as a gun, 
it muft be all behoind one of thofe!" The flag of the Ihow is infcribed, 
" Licenfed by authority, Billy Hum's grand exhibition of moving 
mechanifm ; or, deception of the fenfes." 

In a caricature with the initials of I. C, and publilhcil on llie 20th of 
June, 1797, Fox is reprefented as "The Watchman of liic Stale," 
ironically, of ajurfe, for he is betraying the trull wliicli he had oftcnia 
tifjiUly alfumed, and abfenting himfelf at the moment when his agents 
a«e putting the match to the train they have laid to blow up tiie conllitu- 

490 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

tion. Yet Cruiktliank's caricatures on the Irifli union were rather oppofed 
to minifters. One of thefe, publifhed on the 20th of June, 1800, is full 
of humour. It is entitled " A Flight acrofs the Herring Pond." Eng- 
land and Ireland are feparated by a rough fea, over which a crowd of 
Irift " patriots " are flying, allured by the profpe£l of honours and rewards. 
On the Irilh fhore, a few wretched natives, with a baby and a dog, are in 
an attitude of prayer, expollulating with the fugitives, — " Och, och ! do 
not leave us — confider your old houfe, it will look like a big wallnut-fliell 
without a kernel." On the Englitti Ihore, Pitt is holding open the 
" Imperial Pouch," and welcoming them, — "Come on, my little fellows, 
there's plenty of room for you all — the budget is not half full." Inlide 

No. 235. Flight acrofs the Herring Pond. 

the " pouch " appears a hoft of men covered with honours and dignities, 
one of whom fays to the foremoft of the Irifti candidates for favour, 
"Very fnug and convenient, brother, I alfure you." Behind Pitt, Dundas, 
feated on a pile of public otfices united in his perfon, calls out to the 
immigrants, " If you've ony confciences at a', here's enugh to fatisfy 
ye a'." A portion of this clever caricature is reprefented in our cut 
No. 235. 

/;/ Literature and Art. 


There is a rare caricature on the fubje<5t of the Irifli union, which 
exhibits a httle of the lt}ie of Ifaac Cruikfhank, and a copy of which is 
in the poflellion of Mr. Fairhoh. From this I iiave taken merely the 
group which forms our cut No. 236. It is a long print, dated on the 
lit of January, 1800, and is entitled "The Triumphal entry of the Uuiou 

No. 136. A Cdjc of AbduBion. 

into London." Pitt, with a paper entitled " Irilli Freedom " in his 
pocket, is carrying off the young lady (Ireland) by force, with her natural 
accompaniment, a keg of whilky. The lord chancellor of Ireland (lord 
Clare) fits on the horfe and performs the part of fiddler. In advance of 
this group are a long rabble of radicals, Irilhmen, &c., while clofe behind 
comes Grattan, carried in a fedan-chair, and earneftly appealing to the 
lady, " lerne, lerne ! my fweet maid, liften not to him — he's a falfe, 
riatiering, gay deceiver." Still farther in the rear follows St. Patrick, 
riding on a bull, with a fack of potatoes for his faddle, and playing on 
tile Irilli harp. An Irilhman expoftulates in the following words — " Ah, 
long life to your holy reverence's memory, why will you lave your own 
natc little kingdom, and go to another where they will tink no more of 
you then they would of an old biogue ? Shure, of all the faints in the 
rccklelter calendar, we give you the preference I och hone I och hone I" 

492 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque 

Another Irifhman pulls the bull by the tail, with the lament, " Ah, 
mallher, honey, why will you be after leaving us ? What will become of 
poor Shelagh. and all of us, when you are gone '" It is a regular IrilTi 
cafe of abdudion. 

The laft example I lliall give of the caricatures of Ifaac Cruiklhank is 
the copy of one entitled "The Farthing Ruflilight," which, I need hardly 


No. 237. The Farthing Rujhlight. 

fay, is a parody on the fubjedt of a well-known fong. The ruflilight is 
the poor old king, George, whom the prince of Wales and his Whig 
affociates. Fox, Sheridan, and others, are labouring in vain to blow out. 
The lateft caricature I polfefs, bearing the initials of Ifaac Cruikfliank, 
was publilhed by Fores, on the 19th of April, 1810, and is entitled, " The 
Laft Grand Minifterial Expedition (on the Street, Piccadilly).' The 
fubje£t is the riot on the arrelt of fir Francis Burdeit, and it fhows that 
Cruikfliank was at this time caricaturing on the radical fide in politics. 

Ifaac Cruikfliank left two fons who became diflinguiflied as caricaturifls, 
George, already mentioned, and Robert. George Cruikfliank, who is 
Hill amongfl. us, has raifed caricature in art to perhaps the highell degree 
of excellence it has yet reached. He began as a political caricaturift, in 
imitation of his father Ifaac — in fa6t the two brothers are underllood to 

in Literature and Art. 


have worked jointly with their father before they engraved on their own 
account. I have in my own poirellion two of his earlieft works of this 
clals, publidied by Fores, of Piccadilly, and dated refpedively the 3rd and 
the 19th of March, 18 15. George was then under twentyTone years of 
age. The firll of thefe prints is a caricature on the reftridlions laid upon 
the trade in corn, and is entitled "The Bleflings of Peace, or, the Curfe ot 
the Corn Bill." A foreign boat has arrived, laden with corn at a low 
price — one of the foreign traders holds out a fample and fays, " Here is 
de beft for 505." A group of bloated arillocrats and landholders ttand 
on the Ihore, with a doled rtorehoufe, filled with corn behind them ; the 
foremoll, warning the boat away with his hand, replies to the merchant, 
" We won't have it at any price — we are determined to keep up our own 
to 80^.. and if the poor can't buy at that price, why they muft ftarve. 
We love money too well to lower our rents again j the income tax is 
taken otf." One of his companions exclaims, " No, no, we won't have it 
at all." A third adds, "Ay, ay, let 'em ftarve, and be d — to 'em." 
Upon this another of the foreign merchants cries, " By gar, if they will 
not have it at all, we muft throw it overboard!" and a failor is carrying 
this alternative into execution by emptying a fack into the fea. Another 
group ftands near the clofed ftorehoufe — it confilb of a poor Englilliman, 
his wife with an infant in the arms, and two ragged children, a boy and 
a girl. The father is made to fay, " No, no, mafters, I'll not ftarve ; but 
quit my native country, where the poor are cruftied by thole they labour 
to fupport, and retire to one more hufpitable, and where the arts of the 
rich do not interpofe to defeat the providence of God." The corn bill 
was palfcd in the fpring of 1815, and was the caufe of much popular 
agitation and rioting. The fecond of thefe caricatures, on the fame 
fubjeft, is entitled, "The Scale of Juftice reverfed," and reprefents the 
rich exulting over the difappearance of the tax on property, while the 
poor are crulhed under the weight of taxes which bore only upon them. 
Thefe two caricatures prefent unmiftakable traces of the peculiarities ot 
Ityle of George Cruiklhank, but not as yet fully developed. 

George Cruikftiank rofe into great celebrity and popularity as a 
pohlical caricaturift by his illuftrations to the pamphlets of William Houe, 

494 Hijiory of Caricature and Grotefque. 

fuch as " The Political Houfe that Jack built/' "The Political Showman 
at Home," and others upon the trial of queen Caroline ; but this fort of 
work fuited the tafte of the public at that time, and not that of the artift, 
which lay in another direftion. The ambition of George Cruikfhank was 
to draw what Hogarth called moral comedies, piftures of fociety carried 
through a feries of ails and fcenes, always pointed with fome great moral ; 
and it muft be confeffed that he has, through a long career, fucceeded 
admirably. He poffeffes more of the true fpirit of Hogarth than any 
other artift fince Hogarth's time, with greater ikill in drawing. He 
pofleffes, even to a greater degree than Hogarth himfelf, that admirable 
talent of filling a pifture with an immenfe number of figures, every one 
Telling a part of the ftory, without which, however minute, the whole 
pitiure would feem to us incomplete. The pidlure of the " Camp at 
Vinegar Hill," and one or two other illuftrations to Maxwell's " Hiftory 
of the Irifh Rebellion in 1798," are equal, if not fuperior, to anything 
ever produced by Hogarth or by Callot. 

The name of George Cruikfhank forms a worthy conclufion to the 
•^ Hiftory of Caricature and Grotefque." He is the laft reprefentative of 
the great fchool of caricaturifts formed during the reign of George HI. 
Though there can hardly be faid to be a fchool at the prefent day, yet 
our modern artifts in this field have been all formed more or lefs under 
his influence ; and it muft not be forgotten that we owe to that 
influence, and to his example, to a great degree, the cleanfing of this 
branch of art from the objettionable charadleriftics of which I have on 
more than one occafion been obliged to fpeak. May he ftill live long 
among the friends who not only admire him for his talents, but love 
him for his kindly and genial fpirit ; and none among them love and 
admire him more fincerely than the author of the prefent volume. 


iPost-O/tee OrJers ^yabu 
at Piccadilly Cirrus.] 

JUece.mber, 1874. 


^ Hist of Books 





A Series of Sixty Engravings 

From the Principal Works of Juseth Mallord William Turner. 

IVith a Memoir ami Jllnstraiive Text 


Keeper and Secretary, National Gallery. 

Handsomely half-bound, India Proofs, Royal folio, £,\o ; Large 

Paper copies, Artists' India Proofs, Elephant folio, £^20. 

A Descriptive Paviphht -will he sent upon application. 



Comprising Original Stories, Essays, and Poems by Wii.KiE 
Collins, Mark Twain, Wuni:LAW Rkid, John Hay, Noah 
P)K()OKs, John Bruucuiam, Edmund Vatks, P. V. \asuv, 
Isaac liRoMLty, and others. i'rofiisely illustrated by Aliked 
FkEDERrcics, Arthur Lumley, John La Faroe, Gilbert 
Burling, George White, and others. Small quarto, handsonit-ly 
b<jind, clofh extra, z\\\. nnH ci't i-di"'>. '>'"■. 




A Selection from its Pictures, 

By Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Sir David Wilkie, Correggio, 

Gainsborough, Canaletti, Vandyck, Paul Veronese, 

Caracci, Rubens, N. and G. Poussin, 

and other great Masters. 

Engraved by George Doo, John Burnet, William Finden, 

John and Henry Le Keux, John Pye, Walter Bromley, and 

others. With descriptive Text. A New Edition, from the Original' 

Plates, in columbier 4to, cloth extra, full gilt and gilt edges, 42J. 




With Notes by the late WILLIAM MAGINN, LL.D. 
Edited, with copious Notes, by William Bates, B.A. The volume 

contains 83 Splendid and most Characteristic Portraits, 

now first issued in a complete form. In demy 4to, over 400 pages, 

cloth gilt and gilt edges, 31^. dd. 

" Most interesting." — Saturday Review. 

" Not possible to imagine a more elegant addition to a drawing-room table." — Fun^ 

" One of the most interesting volumes of this year's literature." — Times. 

"Deserves a place on every drawing-room table, and may not unfitly be removed 
from the drawing-room to the library." — Spectator. 



With the Story of his Life and Times, and full and Anecdotal 

Descriptions of his Engravings. 

Edited by THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 

Illustrated with 83 full-page Plates, and very numerous Wood En^ 

gravings. Demy 410, 600 pages, cloth extra, 31^. 6d. 

" High as the expectations excited by this description [in the Introduction] may 
be, they will not be disappointed. With rare exception, no source of information 
has been neglected by the editor, and the most inquisitive or exacting reader will 
find ready gathered to his hand, without the trouble of reference, almost every 
scrap of narrative, anecdote, gossip, scandal, or epigram, in poetry or prose, that he 
can possibly require for the elucidation of the caricatures." — Quarterly Rez'iew. 

" The publishers have done good service in bringing so much thatis full of humour 
and of historical interest within the rea:ch of a 1^^ class." — Saturduy Review. 

"One of the most amusing and valnable illustrations of the socia4 and polisbed 
fe of that generation which it is possible to conceive." — Spectator. 





Including Examples by Armytage, Faed, Goouali., IIkmsley, 
HoRSLEY, Marks, Nicholls, Sir Noel Paton, Pickersgill, 
G. Smith, Marcus Stone, Solomon, Straight, E. M. Ward, 
Warren ; all engraved in the highest style of Art, with Notices of 
the Artists and of their Pictures by Sydney Armytage, M.A. 
Imperial 410, cloth extra, gilt, and gilt edges, z\s. 


A Gatht-riug of Favourites from our Picture Galleries, 1S00-1870. 
Including examples by Wilkie, Constable, Turner, Mulready, 
Landseer, Maclise, E. M. Ward, Frith. Sir John Gilhert, 
Leslie, Ansdell, Marcus Stone, Sir Noel Paton, Faed, 
Eyre Crowe, Gavin, O'Neil, and Madox Brown. Engraved 
on Steel in the highest style of Art. Edited, with Notices of the 
Artists, by Sydney Armytage, M.A. Imperial 410, cloth extra, 
gilt and gilt edges, 2ij. 


From Nowhere to the North Pole: 

A Noahs Arkaeological Narrative. By TOM HOOD. 

\Vith 25 Illustrations by W. Brunton and E. C. Barne.s. Sq. crown 

8vo, in a handsome and specially-designed binding, gilt edges, ds. 


On the Slopes of Parnassus. Illu-strated 

by J. E. Millais, F. Sandys, Fred. Walker, G. J. Pinwell, 
J. D. Houghton, E. J. Poynter, II. S. Marks, J. Whistler, 
and others. Handsomely printed, crowni 4to, cloth extra, gilt and 
gilt edges, 2 1 J. [/;/ preparatiott . 


Queens and Kings, and otherThings: 

A rare and choice Collection of Pictures, Poetry, and strange but 
veritable Histories, designed and written by S. A. the PRINCESS 
HesseSchwarzbourg. The whole imprinted in gold and many 
colours by the Brothers Dalzi EL. Imperial 4to, cloth gilt and gilt 
edges. One Guinea. " ' '" 

^SOp's Fables, translated into Human 

Nature by C. 11. lii,NM/n. Descriptive Text. Entirely New Edit. 
Cr. 4to, 24 Plates, beautifully printed in colours, cloth extra, gilt, 6j. 

74 c;- 7 5, PICCADILLY, LONDON, W. 


Advertising, A 

History of, from the 
Earliest Times. Illustrated 
by Anecdotes, Curious 
Specimens, and Biographi- 
cal Notes of Successful 
Advertisers. By Henry 
Sampson. Cr. 8vo, Co- 
loured Frontispiece and Il- 
lustrations, cloth gilt, 'js.dd. 

" Learned, curious, amusing, and 
instructive is this volume."- -iTcZ/c. 

"Not only shows a vast amount 
of research, but, as a whole, is most 
readable. The facsimiles of old 
newspapers it contains add not a 
little to its value." — Pictorial 

" Mr. Sampson has exhibited 
great diligence and much curious 
research ; he appears to have over- 
looked nothing which could throw 
light on his subject. " — Daily News. 

" The Bellman of London.'^ 
withPreface. bySHiRLEYBROOKS. 

Amusing Poe- 
try. A Selection of Hu- 
morous Verse from all the 
Best Writers. Edited, 
Fcap. 8vo, cl. ex. , gt. edges, '^s. 6d. 

Anacreon. Translated by Thomas Moore, 

and Illustrated by the Exquisite Designs of Girodet. Bound in 
Etruscan gold and blue, 12s. 6d. 

Army Lists of the Roundheads and 

Cavaliers in the Civil War, 1642. Second Edition, Cor- 
rected and considerably Enlarged. Edited, with Notes and full 
Index, by Edward Peacock, F.S.A. 4to, hf -Roxburghe, "js. 6d. 

Artemus Ward, Complete. — The Works 

of Charles Farrer Browne, better known as Artemus Ward, 
now first collected. Crown 8vo, with fine Portrait, facsimile of 
handwriting, &c., 540 pages, cloth extra, 'js. 6d. 

Artemus Ward's Lecture at the 

Egyptian Hall, with the Panorama. Edited by T. W. Robertson 
and E. P. Hingston. 4to, green and gold. Tinted Illust., 6s. 



Uniform with Mr. Ruskin's Edition of "Grimm." 

Bechstein's As Pretty as Seven, and 

other Popular German Stories. Collected by LUDWIG Uechstein. 
With Additional Tales by the Brothers Grimm. 100 Illustrations 
by RiCHTER. Small 4 to, <Treen andpold, 6s. 6./. ; gilt edges, "js. 6J. 

Boccaccio's Decameron ; or, Ten Days* 

Entertainment. Now fully translated into English, with Introduction 
by Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., E.S.A. With Portrait after 
R.\rHAEL, and Stothard's Ten Copper-plates. Crown 8vo, cloth, 
extra gilt, "js. 6d. 

Booksellers, A History of. Full Accounts 

of the Great Publishing Houses and their Founders, both in London 
and the Provinces, the History of their Rise and Progress, and of their 
greatest Works. By Harry Curwex. Crown 8vo, over 500 pages, 
frontispiece and numerous Portraits and Illusts., cloth extra, fj. 6d. 


" In tkese days, ten ordinary Hiilaries of Kin^s and Courtiers were ivell ex- 
cfianzed against tlu tenth part of one good History of Booksellers." — THOMAS 

"This stout little book is unquestionably amusing. Ill-starred, indeed, must be 
the reader who, opening it an>'where, lights upon six consecutive pages within the 
entire compass of which some good anecdote or smart repartee is not to be found." 
— Saturday Rcvie-ai. 

" Mr. Curwen produced an interesting •vorV."— Daily News. 

" Ought to have a perminent place on lib rary shelves."— CgKr^ Circular. 

Book of Hall-Marks ; or, Manual of 

Reference for the Goldsmith and Silversmith. ]5y Ai.FKEl) LUT- 
SCHAUNIG, Manager of the Liverpool Assay OflTice. Crown 8vo, with 
46 Plates of the Hall-Marks of the different Assay Towns of the 
United Kingdom, as now stamped on Plate and Jewellery, "js. 6J. 
•,• This work giTes ^radical tnethods/or testing the quality of gold and sUx>*r, 
It viat compiled iy the author as a Supplement to ^'Chaffers." 

74 6^ 75, rice AD ILLY, LONDON, W. 

' c 


Boudoir Ballads: Vers de SocI6te. By 



Crown 8vo, cloth extra, gilt, and gilt edges, 

\In preparation. 

Bret Harte's Complete Works, in Prose 

and Poetry. Now First Collected. "With Introductory Essay by J. 
M. Bellew, Portrait of the Author, and 50 Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, 650 pages, cloth extra, ']s, 6d, 

Brewster's (Sir David) More Worlds 

than One, the Creed of the Philosopher and the Hope 
of the Christian. A New Edition, in small crown 8vo, cloth, 
extra gilt, with full-page Astronomical Plates. 4^^. 6d. 

Brewster's (SirD.) Martyrs of Science. 

Small cr. Svo, cloth, extra gilt, with full-page Portraits. 4^. 6d. 

Bright's (Rt. Hon. J., M.P.) Speeches 

on Public Affairs of the last Twenty Years. Collated with tlie 
best Public Reports. Royal i6mo, 370 pages, cloth extra, is. 


Broad Grins. My Nightgown and Slippers, 

and other Humorous Works, Prose and Poetical, of George Col- 
man the Younger. With Life and Anecdotes of the Author by G. B. 
BuCKSTONE, and Frontispiece by Hogarth. Crown Svo, "js. 6d. 


Hall, and other 
Poems. By W. E. 
WiNDUS. With 40 
Illustrations by Al- 
Crown Svo, clotli 
extra, gilt, 5J. 


of the Sea : A 

History of Diving, 
from the Earliest 
Times. By Henry 
SiEBE. Profusely 
Illustrated. Crown 
Svo, cloth extra, 
4J. 6d. 

' ' A Border Scrn^. ' ' 




Lost for Love : A Novel. By M. E. 

Ekai>uon, Author of "Lady AuJley's Secret," &c. Now ready, 
in 3 vols., crown Svo, at all Libraries, and at the Booksellers. 

"Oue of the best novels l.itely produced. In important respects, it 
appears to us, Miss Uraddon's recent workjs deserve the highest commendation." — 
Jllustrated London Anus. , 

"We may confidently predict for it a warm welcome from Miss Braddoo'c 
numerous admirers;" — Graphic. 

" 'Lost for Love' must be placed high among Miss Braddon's novels. It has a 
quiet power, which makes it attractive in a high degree." — Scotsman. 

"Unaffected, simple, and e.isily written, it will disappoint Miss Braddon's early 
admirers, and please that which we hope is a wider public." — Athen.:ruiii. 

Byron's (Lord) Letters and Journals, 

with Notices of his Life. By Thom.\s Moore. A Reprint of the 
Original Edition, newly revised, complete in a thickvolume of loCopp., 
with Twelve full-page Plates. Crown Svo, cloth extra, gilt, "js. 6d. 
** We have read this book with the greatest pleasure. Considered merely as a 
composition, it deserves to be classed among the best specimens of English prose 
which our age has produced. It contains, indeed, no single passage equal to two 
or (hrte which we could select from the Life of Sheridan : but, as a whole, it is 
immeasurably superior to that work. The style is agreeable, clear, and maobr, 
and, when it rises into eloquence, rises without effort or ostentation. Nor is the 
matter inferior to the manner. It would be difficult to name a book which exhibitii 
more kindness, fairness, and modesty. It has evidently been written, not for the 
purpose of showing — wliat, however, it often shows — how well its author can wrilc, 
but for the purpose of vindicating, as far as truth will permit, the memory of a ccte- 
braied man who can no longer vindicate himself. Mr. Moore never tlirusts himseU 
between Lord Byron and the public. With the strongest temptations to egotietii^ 
be has said no more about himself than the subject absolutely required. A gre^ 
part, indeed the greater part, of these volumes consists of extracts from the Letters 
and Journals of Lord Byron ; and it is difficult to speak too highly of the skill whidi 
has been shown in the selection and arrangement. .... It is impossible, on a 
geoeral survey, c o deny that the task has been executed with great judgment and 
KTcat humanity When we consider the life which Lord Byron had led, his pe«u- 
Eince, his irritability, and his communicativeness, we cannot but .idmire the dex- 
terity with which Mr. Moore has contrived to exhibit so much of the character njid 
•pinions of his friend, with so little pain to tbc feelings of the living."— I^cmu 
Macaulav, in the Edinburgh Rtvicw. 

Carols of Cockayne ; Vers de Soci^t6 

descriptive of London Life. By Henry S. Leigh. Third Edition. 
With numerous lUustratioos by Alfred Concanen. Crown Svo, 
cloth extra, gilt, t^s. 

Carlyle (T.) on the Choice of Books. 

With New Life and Anecdotes. Brown cloth, UNIFORM WITH IM*; 
is. EiJiTioN OF HIS Works, is. dd. 

Celebrated Claimants, Ancient and 

Modem. Being the Histories of all the most celebrated Pretenders 
and Claimants from Perkin Warueck to Arthur Orton. Fcaj). 
Svo, 350 pages, illustrated boards, price is. 

74 (s- 75, PICCADILLY, LONDON, W. 




The Law and the Lady: A Novel. By 

WiLKiE Collins, Author of "The Woman in White." 3 vols., 

crown 8vo, 3IJ. 6d. 


Christmas Carols and Ballads. Selected 

and Edited by Joshua Sylvester. A New Edition, beautifully 
printed and bound in cloth, extra gilt, gilt edges, 3J. 6d. 

Cruikshank's Comic Almanack. 

Complete in Two Serie! : the First from 1835 to 1843 ; the 
Second from 1844 to 1853. A Gathering of the Best Humour 
of Thackeray, Hood, ?Iayhe\v, Albert Smith, A'Beckett, 
Robert Brough, &c. With 2,000 Woodcuts and Steel Engravings 
by Cruikshank, Hine, Landells, &c. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 
two very thick volumes, l^^.; or, separately, 'js. 6d. per volume. 

*j* Tke " Comic Almanacks " of George Cruikshanlc have long been regarded hy 
adtnirers of tins itiimitable artist as among his finest, most characteristic pro- 
ductions. Ex/etiding over a period of nineteen years, f-om 1835 to 1853, inclusive, 
they embrace the best period of his artistic career, and show the 7iaried excellences 
of his marvello7ts power. The late J\Ir. Tilt, of Fleet Street, first conceived the 
idea of the " Comic Ahnanack," and at various times there were engaged upon it 
such writers as Thackeray, Albert Smith, the Brothers Mayhew, the late 
Robert Brough, Gilbert A'Beckett, and, it has been asserted, Tom Hood the 
elder. Thackeray's stories of " Stutbs' Calendar; or, The Fatal Boots," which 
subsequently apf>eared as " Stubbs' Diary ;" and ^^ Barber Cox ; or. The Cutting 
of his Comb," fjrmed the leading attractions in the numbers for 1839 and 1840. 


Cussans' Handbook of 

Heraldry; with Instructions for Tracing 
Pedigrees and Deciphering Ancient MSS.; 
also, Rules for the Appointment of Liveries, 
cS:c., &c. By John E. Cussans. Illus- 
trated with 360 Plates and Woodcuts. 
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, gilt and emblazoned, 
7j. 6d. 

*** This volume, beautifully printed on toned paper, 
contains not only the ordinary matter to be found 
in the best books on the science of Armory, but seve- 
ral other subjects hitherto unnoticed. Amongst 
these may be mentioned .—i. Directions for 
Tracing Pedigrees. 2. Deciphering Ancient 
MSS., illustrated by Alphabets and Fac- 
similes. 3. The Appointment of Liveries. 
4. Continental and American Heraldry, &c. 


.i« ,. 





Cyclopaedia of Costume; or, A Dic- 
tionary of Dress, Rcgnl, Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Military, frora 
the Earliest Period in England to the reign of George the Third. 
Including Notices of Contemporaneous Fashions on the Continent, 
and preceded by a General History of the Costume of the Principal 
Countries of Europe. Py J. K. PLANCiifi, F.S.A., Somerset Herald. 
This work ivill fe fuHiihed in Twenty- four Monthly Fn'ts, quarto, at Five 
Shdltn^s, profusely illustrattd by Plates a»,l H'oo.i Engravings ; with each I'art 
■will also be issued a splendid Coloured Vlatf, from an original Painting- or 1 no- 
mination, of Royal and ^'obie Personages, and National Costume, both/um^nand 
domestic. The First Part will be reiuiy on Jan. i, 1S75. 

IN collecting materials for a History of Costume of 
more importance than the little handbook vihich bas 
met with so much favour as an elementary work, I was 
not only made aware of my own deficiencies, but sur- 
prised to find how much more vague are the exil.ina- 
tions, and contradictory the statemcms, of our best 
authorities, than they appeared to me, when, in th« 
plenitude of my ignorance, I rushed upon almo>t un- 
trodden ground, and felt bewildered by the mass of 
unsifted evidenct and unhesitating abSerlioa which met 
my eyes at every turn. 

During the forty years which have elapsed since the 
publitationof the first edition of my " History of llritish 
Costume" in the " J.ibrary of Entertaining Know- 
ledge," archaeological investigation has received such 
an impetus by the establishment of metropolit.m and 
provincial peripatetic antiquaiian societies, that a flood 
of light has been poured upon us, by which we are 
enabled to re-exammcour opinions and discover reasons 
lodoubt, if we cannot find facts to authenticate. 

That the former greatly preponderate is a grievous 
acknowledgment to make after assiduously devoriiig 
the leisure of half my life to the pursuit of inforniaiiou 
on this, to me, most f.iscinatiiig subject. It is some 
consolation, however, to feel that where I cannot in- 
struct, I shall certainly not mislead, and that the rcidcr 
will find, under each head, all that is known to, 01 
suggested by, the most competent writers 1 am ac- 
quainted with, cither here or on the Continent. 
That this work appears in a glossarial form arises from the desire of many artists, 
who have expressed to me the difficulty they constantly meet with in their en- 
deavours to ascerUiin the complete form of a garment, or tne exact mode of f.-isleiiing 
a piece of armour, or buckling of a belt, from their study of a sepulchral eOijjy or 
a figure in an illumination; the altitude of the personages represented, or the dispo- 
sition of other portions of their attire, clTectually preventing the reouisite examination. 
The books supplying any such information are very few, and the best confined to 
armour or ecclesiastical costume. The